With more residents and employees able to be vaccinated and a recent decrease in COVID-19 cases, Somerville will move into a modified Phase 4, Step 1 of the State’s reopening plan starting on Friday, May 7.
What will change in Somerville starting May 7:
With any additional guidance noted below, all businesses in categories included through the State’s Phase 4, Step 1 as well as houses of worship will be allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity with social distancing and with all sector-specific guidelines followed.
Included in the above are movie theaters and bingo halls, previously closed in Somerville.
Event capacity limits at private residences will remain at 10 people indoors and will increase to 25 people outdoors.
Event capacity limits at public event venues or spaces will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors with approved safety plans for social distancing, masking guidance, and other safety protocols.
Singing (while masked) and woodwind/brass instrument performances will be allowed outdoors. As per State guidance, greater distancing requirements are required for wind and brass instruments and singing performances including at least 10 feet between performers and performers must be 25 feet from the audience for these performance categories.
Indoor performances, subject to the 50% business capacity limits or event gathering limits above, will be allowed for all performance types except for singing and woodwind and brass instruments, which remain prohibited indoors until further notice.
With the approval of the Somerville Licensing Commission, restaurants and bars or breweries can partner to offer outdoor dining with alcoholic beverages. All other regulations must be followed.
Businesses and other venues that wish to increase their capacity to the new limits above must submit revised Health and Safety Plans (HASP) to the Inspectional Services Division. If your business is licensed through CitizenServe, please upload a revised HASP under your existing license in CitizenServe at somervillema.gov/citizenserve. Other businesses and venues should email their revised HASP to firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on how to prepare a HASP visit http://www.somervillema.gov/HASP.
The State is expected to announce additional reopening guidelines this week. The City will review any additional reopening measures to determine which might be adopted in Somerville. The City of Somerville continues to monitor COVID case trends, vaccination rates, and other related data on a daily basis. As more people are vaccinated there is hope for further reopening in the near future. All persons age 16 or older are currently eligible for vaccination. For information on how to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/vaccine or call the statewide helpline at 2-1-1.
“We are making real progress in Massachusetts on reducing COVID-19 cases, and to keep that momentum going as reopening progresses, I strongly urge everyone to keep up the good work. If we all get the vaccine, wear our facemasks, keep our distance in public, stay home and get tested when feeling ill, and wash our hands frequently, we can keep one another safer as we work to drive down COVID-19 cases and strive for a great summer,” said Doug Kress, Director of Health and Human Services.
For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit http://www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at http://www.somervillema.gov/Alerts. Community members are encouraged to sign up for every alert method: phone call, text, email. Also follow FB.com/SomervilleCity and @SomervilleCity.