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Massachusetts Reopening: Indoor Dining, Nail Salons Return Monday, Phase 3 No Earlier Than July 6

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts will allow indoor dining at restaurants and nail salons to reopen on Monday, June 22, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday, as he announced the start date for Phase 2, Part 2 of the state's reopening plan. The governor also said Phase 3 will not start anytime before Monday, July 6.

Also allowed to reopen this coming Monday will be other close contact personal services like day salons, massage therapy, tattoo parlors, electrolysis studios and personal training.

Retailers can also open fitting rooms by appointment only.

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(WBZ-TV graphic)

Baker added that offices will now be allowed to expand capacity from 25-percent to 50-percent Monday as well.

"However we urge employers to continue to allow their employees to work from home, whenever possible," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who joined Baker at the briefing Friday afternoon.

"Right now fewer than 1,000 people in the Commonwealth are hospitalized. I went back to the middle of April, and couldn't find a number that was that low," Baker told reporters. "This progress is encouraging and proves that we're moving in the right direction as we continue our gradual reopening."

The governor said Friday he wants to see two weeks of coronavirus data in Massachusetts before allowing Phase 3 to begin, which means it could not start anytime before Monday, July 6. That phase would include gyms, movie theaters, casinos and museums, youth sports with games and tournaments with limited crowd sizes and, on a phased basis, residential camps with restrictions.

Many were hoping Phase 3 would start Monday June 29, three weeks after the start of Phase 2. When the reopening process began in May, Baker said each phase had to be at least three weeks apart, based on the data.

"If everyone continues to do their part, we will continue to make progress together," Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy told reporters.  "So far, there's a lot of reason for optimism. It's very encouraging to see the increase in interactions among family and friends, as well as a burst of activity in local downtowns, with of course the vast majority of people following the rules."

"The progress we're making here in Massachusetts demonstrates that if we're vigilant and disciplined, we can do both - reopening and containing COVID, but it only works when everybody does their job to slow the spread," Baker said.

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