Gov. Charlie Baker is inching the state’s reopening plan a bit further ahead, signing executive orders Thursday that would reopen arcades and hopefully help restaurants extend their outdoor dining season.
Arcades were not supposed to come back online until the fourth phase of reopening, something Baker has said won’t happen until a medical breakthrough results in a vaccine or therapeutics.
“Arcades have been open for a while in some of the states surrounding us and we spent a lot of time talking to our colleagues in those states,” Baker said. “They basically said that with capacity limitations, rules, hand sanitizer and all the rest, that they’ve been able to be open safely.”
Baker said another executive order will permit cities and towns to allow restaurants to continue the same level of outdoor dining as they have this summer.
“We hope this eases the burden on restaurants and extends their season for outdoor dining as well,” Baker said at Medford’s Bistro 5 restaurant.
The state also announced millions of dollars more in funding to help restaurants bolster their outdoor dining experience. Five million dollars will be made available through the Shared Streets program to help improve things like added barriers or heaters and lighting for the fall season.