The fourth and final phase of the state's economic and social reopening plan will begin as anticipated on March 22, and rules around out-of-state travel will also relax on Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker's office announced Thursday.
The July 2020 travel order that required people entering Massachusetts from most states to fill out a form and quarantine for 10 days, test negative for COVID-19, or face fines of up to $500 per day will be replaced with an advisory that instead encourages people to quarantine upon arrival in Massachusetts if they have been away for 24 hours or more. The advisory, Baker's office said, will not apply to those returning after trips shorter than 24 hours, those who tested negative for COVID-19 up to 72 hours before arriving in Massachusetts, or fully vaccinated travelers.
Last month, Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said they planned to loosen gathering-size restrictions and transition to Phase 4 of the reopening plan on March 22, allowing stadiums, arenas and ballparks to operate at 12 percent capacity after submitting plans to the Department of Public Health. The administration reaffirmed that timeline and said capacity limits for large venues "are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue."
Effective Monday, gathering limits for event venues and public settings will rise to 100 people indoors and 150 outside. For private residences, the caps will remain at 25 people outside and 10 people inside.
Overnight summer camps will be allowed to open, exhibition and convention halls will be able to operate subject to the gathering limits, and dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events.
Businesses like bars and nightclubs will remain closed until a later point in Phase 4, for which a date has not been announced.