BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Wednesday the state is updating its coronavirus guidelines to allow 10 people per table inside restaurants. Though bars remain closed, restaurants will be able to utilize bar areas for food service.
Baker announced the changes during his media availability in Lowell. The guidelines will go into effect on Monday.READ MORE: Massachusetts State House Remains Closed To Public Weeks After COVID Restrictions Lifted
The governor added that there should be “no standing around the bar.”
“Bars are closed. Nightclubs are closed. But the evidence from other states with respect to this issue is clear – restaurants can use bar seating for regular food service with appropriate distance in place,” said Baker.
In Boston, where Mayor Marty Walsh said there is an “uptick in COVID activity,” there will still be a maximum of six people allowed per table.
Massachusetts bars and nightclubs are part of Phase 4 in the state’s reopening plan, meaning they cannot reopen until there is a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutics.READ MORE: Gillette Stadium Mass COVID Vaccination Site Closes
Restaurant employees and customers must wear masks at all times, except when patrons are seated at tables.
Though indoor table service is allowed, the state encourages restaurants to operate outdoor seating as much as possible.
For seating areas, tables must be placed at least six feet apart unless they are separated by protective barriers.
Bar areas are allowed to be re-configured to allow table seating if they meet code and coronavirus standards.MORE NEWS: When Will The FDA Give COVID Vaccines Full Approval? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your Questions
Tables cannot be within six feet of the staffed bartending area.