BOSTON (CBS) – Phase 3 businesses in Massachusetts – which include gyms, movie theaters, museums, casinos and wedding venues – are eager to reopen. According to the state’s four-phase reopening plan, they could be allowed to open as early as Monday, July 6.
However, Gov. Charlie Baker has yet to commit to a date for Phase 3 to begin.
“I don’t want to be told on a Saturday that we’re allowed to open on Wednesday,” said Melina DiPaola, who owns the spin studio Ride North End in Boston.
As has been the case with other businesses, certain safety and capacity protocols will be put in place in order for businesses to reopen, but so far, DiPaola said, the guidelines are unclear. She’s asking for more concrete information. “Giving us ‘coulds’ doesn’t really help us,” she said. “If you’re going to tell me I could open Monday, in my mind, I can’t open Monday.”
DiPaola is also frustrated that her boutique fitness studio is in the same category as large gyms. “You can designate your bike [here], walk in and go straight to that bike,” she explained. “We clean it before anyone else goes to it.”
At a press conference Wednesday, Baker said he is still looking at the COVID-19 case data in Massachusetts in order to make a decision. In response to Tuesday’s news of zero COVID-related deaths, “There are no victory laps from COVID, okay?” Baker said. “It’s not going to take the summer off.”
The governor attributed Massachusetts’ continually positive-trending data to people following the rules, social distancing and wearing masks.
“We just need a heads up” about Phase 3, DiPaola said. “For all small business owners, this thing has just been a financial nightmare.”