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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s office announced Tuesday that capacity at large venues, such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks, can increase from their current level of 12% to 25% beginning May 10.
Those limits would then increase to 100% for all businesses on Aug. 1 as vaccination numbers continue to increase and the state enters its final phase of reopening. The state will also relax its mandatory mask order for some outdoor settings, effective at the end of April.
The shift means that the New England Patriots could begin their 2021 season with Gillette Stadium at full capacity. It also clears the way for the Boston Marathon, which last year was canceled for the first time in its 124-year history and shifted this year from its normal mid-April running to Oct. 11.
All of these changes are based on vaccination distribution and favorable public health data and could change.
The NHL is preparing to adjust playoff contingency plans if virus restrictions in Canada prevent travel between provinces or back and forth to the U.S.
“Where we play is going to depend on COVID, obviously — we hope to keep everybody healthy — and it’s going to depend on government regulations in terms of where we’re going to be able to travel our players and our teams and where we can’t,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday. “If we can’t travel in Canada, either as among the provinces or from the U.S. to Canada and back, we’ll make whatever adjustments we have to do to get the playoffs completed.”