SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) --- Gov. Charlie Baker gave the green light for Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan to begin on Monday, but some businesses left out of the phase are feeling frustrated.
Thursday, Baker said Phase 4 would not begin until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 and now many businesses in that last phase are wondering when their time will come.
“To have a punch in the gut and be moved to Phase 4 is very difficult,” Round One District Manager Jerad Cartwright said.
Baker announced Thursday that Massachusetts will be moving into Phase 3 of the reopening plan allowing gyms, museums, casinos and more to reopen.
But as many businesses prepare to reopen their doors after being closed for months, other businesses originally anticipating Monday’s start date were left in the dark.
“It was time and effort,” Cartwright said. “We had our staff come in, just having them prepare for all the procedural efforts that have to be in place for COVID-19, just having the employees come back they’re ready to get back to work.”
Round One in Holyoke was preparing for Phase 3 after Baker announced Thursday that arcades wouldn’t open until Phase 4, the venue’s reopening plans are on hold again.
“A major disappointment is that we want to provide a fun family-oriented atmosphere for all families in the community,” he said. “Well, we feel like we’re in the same industry as casinos because of slot machines the same deal that would be on slushies with the kids and I just think it’s unfortunate that they split those two apart.”
Cartwright said over the phone that the move came as a surprise when most businesses in the entertainment industry, such as casinos and movie theaters, were given the go-ahead while arcades are pushed to Phase 4.
With Baker making it clear that Phase 4 will not begin without a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, the future is unclear for the businesses in the last phase.
“I’m sure it’s going to measurably affect a lot of businesses,” he said. “Can they even recover from something like that?”
Other businesses in Phase 4 include amusement parks, bars, dance clubs and nightclubs.