BOSTON (CBS) – Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday a series of new coronavirus restrictions for Massachusetts, including a curfew for businesses, reduction of the indoor gathering limit, and a tighter face mask mandate.
A stay-at-home advisory will be put into place from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Between those hours, residents should stay home with exceptions like going to work or the grocery store.
Baker signed an executive order that requires indoor recreation facilities, theaters, casinos, and other entertainment venues to close at 9:30 p.m. Restaurants will be required to stop providing table service at 9:30 p.m., but can provide takeout.
“Our message here is very simple. We can’t afford to continue to do what are we doing,” Baker said. “We want to do everything in our power to avoid reverting back to Phase 1 or Phase 2 of our reopening plan, but that requires us all to step up and make some changes.”
The limit for indoor gatherings at private homes has been reduced to 10 people. The outdoor gathering limit has been set at 25 people. Indoor and outdoor events at homes or event venues must end by 9:30 p.m.
Massachusetts is also updating its face covering order to require everyone above the age of five years old to wear a face covering in public, even if social distancing can be maintained.
“The mask requirement remains what I would describe as guidance. But the difference here is we’re eliminating the six-foot spread. We’re basically saying if you go out in public wear a mask,” said Baker.
As of last week, 121 communities in Massachusetts are now considered high risk for coronavirus.
A total of 28 communities have already rolled back a step in the state’s reopening process.
Despite the increased numbers, Baker said it is critical not to shut down the ecomony or schools.
“What we should not do to deal with these trends is shut down our economy, or close our schools to deal with this,” Baker said. “Schools are not spreaders here, or anywhere else. It’s been proven now – over and over and over again – by real life experience and longitudinal studies.”