MEDFORD (CBS) – Massachusetts arcades will be allowed to reopen next week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Thursday. Initially, the businesses were not slated to welcome back customers until Phase 4 of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan.
Businesses that are in Phase 4 aren’t able to open until there is a coronavirus vaccine or therapy.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reopening Plan: COVID Restrictions Loosen Monday, Including Restaurant Capacity
“Arcades have been open for a while in some of the states surrounding us and we spent a lot of time talking to our colleagues in those states,” said Baker. “They basically said that with capacity limitations, rules, hand sanitizer and all the rest, that they’ve been able to be open safely.”
Baker made the announcement during a press briefing at Bistro 5 in Medford.READ MORE: 'In Like A Lion': March Weather Brings Drastic Swing In Temperatures This Week
The governor also announced the state is allocating $5 million in additional funding to restaurants to be used for outdoor dining. The money is through the Shared Streets program, which now has $10 million available for businesses.
Shared Streets is aimed at helping businesses improve sidewalks, curbs, streets, and parking. So far, Baker said Shared Streets has given out a total of $7.7 million to fund 91 projects in 78 cities and towns.
“These grants can help businesses invest in items to help create more space and follow safety guidance during this pandemic,” said Baker.MORE NEWS: South Attleboro MBTA Station Closes Due To 'Deteriorating' Pedestrian Bridge
“We hope this eases the burden on restaurants and extends their season for outdoor dining as well.”