Massachusetts and California both lifted statewide stay-at-home orders Monday, Jan. 25. Businesses that can now stay open past 9:30 p.m. in Massachusetts include movie theaters, casinos and health clubs, according to NBC Boston. California, meanwhile, lifted its own curfew and restrictions on services like outdoor dining, AP reports – though certain localities like Los Angeles County – can continue those impositions.
In Massachusetts, there remains a 25% capacity. “I wish the capacity was increased a little but we’re working with what we have right now,” said Mark Dailey, owner of Fun and Games, a fun center with an arcade in Framingham.
Bars in the state have rejoiced too. Skybokx Sports Bar and Grill in Natick is excited for Super Bowl Sunday, where former Patriots QB Tom Brady is making his 10th appearance in the big game, albeit with a new team. “This is great news,” manager Ryan Burkart said. “We’re very excited that Gov. Baker made the decision to lift the curfew.”
In California, officials said the state has turned a corner, leading to the decision to lift the order. “Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer term gains,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director. “Covid-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner.”
Republicans in the state said Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was relaxing the rules in response to poltical pressure and the looming threat of recall. “This governor’s decisions have never been based in science,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, the California Republican Party’s chairwoman. “Him reopening our state is not an attempt to help working Californians, but rather an attempt to counter the recall movement.”
Criticism of the governor has also come from his own party, including Santa Clara County executive Jeff Smith, who said, “Essentially it’s a decision being made politically that puts people’s lives at risk, especially in Southern California.”