Pandemic rules to loosen at amusement parks, road races

BOSTON (AP) — Fans of amusement parks and road races in Massachusetts are among those who can begin enjoying loosened pandemic restrictions starting Monday.

Under the relaxed restrictions, amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.

Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted with staggered starts and other safety measures after also submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.

Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open at 12% capacity will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%. Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high-risk sports.

Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants and other businesses.

State health officials said groceries and retail stores with pharmacy departments will no longer be required to offer senior hours — but should still consider dedicated hours of operation for seniors.

Since March 22, daily new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts have dropped by 45%, hospitalizations have dropped by 23%, and deaths have dropped by 69%.

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