Governor Baker implements roll back to Step 1 of Phase 3 - effective December 13 due to an increase in positive cases and hospitalization rates
While a number of sectors of the economy will have to close as a result of this rollback and others will have capacity restrictions, restaurants continue to remain open for indoor dining with the following updates to the guidelines:
- Patrons must wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
- Restaurants must seat no more than six patrons per table
- Restaurants must impose a 90-minute time limit on tables
- Musical performances at restaurants will no longer be permitted
- Food court seating must be closed in malls
The announced percentage based capacity limits for certain sectors do not apply to restaurants.
Revised Gathering Regulations:
- Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
- Hosts of outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering their local board of health
- Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will be required to close to the public
- Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people
While, the Governor strongly defended the restaurant industry’s track record for safety and Covid related compliance, Massachusetts restaurants are still without any substantial economic relief or even a plan.
Congress is in session for only a few days more, and if they do not get their job done – restaurants will be left out in the cold for months.
This week, the National Restaurant Association released a letter to Congress with the results of the latest survey on the economic health of the industry, and the findings are bleak. In Massachusetts:
- Ninety-one percent of Massachusetts restaurant operators say their total dollar sales volume in October was lower than it was in October 2019. Overall, sales were down 43% on average.
- Eighty-nine percent of Massachusetts operators expect their sales to decrease from current levels during the next 3 months. Only 3% of operators expect their sales will increase from current levels during the next 3 months.
Fifty-six percent of Massachusetts operators say their restaurant’s total labor costs (as a percent of sales) are higher than they were prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Forty-nine percent of Massachusetts operators say it is unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now, if there are no additional relief packages from the federal government.
- Fifty-five percent of Massachusetts operators say they are considering temporarily closing their restaurant until the COVID-19 pandemic passes
- 110,000 restaurants nationwide are closed… 10,000 more since our last survey.
For months, Congress has been trapped in a political tug-of-war while restaurants continue to go dark. A group of moderate Democrats and Republicans last week unveiled a compromise plan that has brought both parties back to the negotiating table. They are calling for a $909 billion relief bill, including a second round of Paycheck Protection Program grants, which with improvements could provide immediate assistance to restaurants.
Congress has heard from you before and we know that many of you have been communicating to your member of Congress, but we need to keep fighting before they go home. Click here to add your voice!