BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) -- Gov. Baker has announced that the state's reopening process will continue next week.

The governor announced Thursday that Phase 3 will begin Monday, July 6.

That move will allow more sectors to reopen, with strict guidance, including:

  • Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues
  • Museums, cultural and historical sites
  • Fitness centers and health clubs
  • Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact

Baker also noted that professional sports teams, with proper league guidance, will be allowed to hold games in Massachusetts without fans.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito explained that the state's casinos are part of Phase 3 and are eligible to open Monday.

"I think that they will begin to activate their workforce, train them to those protocols, and then invite the public in about a week's period of time after that," Polito explained. 

It was also announced Thursday that, starting Monday, indoor gatherings will be limited to eight people per 1,000 square feet, but should not exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.

Similarly, outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces will be limited to 25 percent of a facility’s maximum permitted occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people in a single enclosed outdoor space.

Such sites include:

  • Community events
  • Civic events
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Conventions

The Baker-Polito Administration added that this revised gathering order does not apply to outdoor, unenclosed gatherings so long as proper social distancing measures are possible.

It also does not apply to the City of Boston, where the revised gathering guidance won't take effect until Monday, July 13.

Like previous phases, Phase 3 will be done in a two-step process.

Baker did note that Phase 3 will last longer than previous phases as they monitor the public health data.

"Phase 3 contains some bigger players that will certainly draw more people into indoor settings with respect to various activities like movie theaters and museums," Baker explained.

Baker said Phase 3 will last until a vaccine or treatment is available, so bars and nightclubs will remain closed until whenever that happens.

"The folks in the bar and the nightclub space have a particular set of problems that we believe at this point are hard to square the circle on," Baker noted.

A big question at the governor’s press conference is whether or not Massachusetts could see a spike in cases, as seen in other states like Texas and Georgia.

Coming up on Western Mass News at 6 p.m. on ABC40, we will hear from a reporter at our sister station in Atlanta about the spread of the virus there.

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