WOBURN (CBS) – It has been almost seven months since a laser tag or trampoline park birthday party in Massachusetts. Now, they have the green light to open in lower-risk communities.
“Huge, huge day. Huge day to determining whether we’re going to survive or not,” said Greg Hughes, who owns Xtreme Craze, an entertainment complex that’s reopening its locations in Woburn and Marlboro this week.
The second step of Massachusetts’ third phase of its reopening plan allows indoor and outdoor theaters to increase to 50% capacity. Indoor recreation venues can also have 50%.
Trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks, and laser tag get the green light. Fitting rooms are back. Gyms, museums, and libraries can now also go up to 50% capacity.
“It makes sense in some ways to slowly start to open up more things,” said Dr. Abraar Karan, of Harvard Medical School. “But the reality is that it does increase the chance that transmission happens,” he added.
The new ease in restrictions comes as COVID-19 rates rise in Massachusetts. That’s why Somerville and Cambridge are holding off on the changes for now, even though they’re in lower-risk categories.
“While the infection rate in Cambridge has remained low and relatively stable since mid-summer, we’ve seen infection rates rise dramatically statewide since Sept. 1. Cambridge is not a bubble,” said Claude Jacob, the city’s Chief Public Health Officer. “We have many people travelling in and out of the city every day from other Massachusetts communities. For a densely populated, destination city such as Cambridge, we need to pay attention to both local and statewide trends.”