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'It Stinks': Baker Says Restaurant Closures Are 'Part Of What Comes With COVID'

BOSTON (CBS) - Gov. Charlie Baker said on Thursday it's been "heartbreaking" to see restaurants and bars go out of business during the coronavirus pandemic. Boston has seen longtime favorites including The Pour House, The Fours and Cheers at Faneuil Hall close their doors for good in recent weeks.

Restaurants in Massachusetts are allowed to offer limited indoor dining with tables spaced at least six feet apart, and bars have been shuttered until there's a vaccine or coronavirus therapeutics. While some have criticized his administration's restaurant guidelines as too strict, Baker cited the "ripple effect" of the pandemic on the local economy.

"It stinks. It stinks. A lot of this stinks," Baker said of the closures. "But it's part of what comes with COVID."

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He said the Bruins and Celtics seasons being shortened and the relocation of games to Canada and Florida have had "huge consequences" for local businesses that depend on traffic from fans.

"If the customers aren't there then the rules on some level. . . at the end of the day aren't going to solve the problem," Baker said. "It all comes back to COVID one way or another."

He said his administration continues to talk to the restaurant community about ways to help them and added that the economic impact makes it all the more important to defeat the virus.

"Honestly it's why we've been so aggressive about trying to get this notion across that the most important thing we need to do as a Commonwealth, is to beat this thing back," Baker said.

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