The beer is on the ice and restaurateurs say they are ready as diners hungry to celebrate the end of the pandemic mandates will hit town en masse today.
“We’re preparing to be just as busy as we were in the 2019 playoffs,” said Nolan Hamilton, manager at Hurricane’s at TD Garden. “We expect 100 mph pretty quickly.”
Massachusetts will lift its mask mandate in most situations today, along with capacity constraints, limits, and several other COVID-19 public health measures that have been in place since the pandemic, and business owners and residents alike will be delighted.
“We’re happy that employees waited 14 months for this day,” said Hamilton, adding that he stocked up on products, glassware and other essentials and made sure enough people were working.
Hamilton said customers are not required to wear a mask, but employees remain masked.
Dave Ferrando, manager at Causeway Restaurant and Bar, said, “I mean, it’s definitely going to be an influx, it’s like people have been revving their engines for a year and a half.”
Ferrando said he hired additional security guards to control the crowd and ordered more food as well. Customers at Causeway don’t need to wear a mask either.
In addition to the pent-up excitement of getting out of the house and breaking loose, Boston will be grumbling when the Bruins face the New York Islanders at 8 a.m. tonight.
Somerville’s Anthony Broccoli said he had season tickets to the Bruins and couldn’t wait to play a full capacity game.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it in full again and seeing so many people together so it will be fun. It’s like a prelude to summer, ”Broccoli told the Herald on Friday in front of TD Garden.
Governor Charlie Baker was just as upbeat during a press conference on Friday as he welcomed the 100% reopening of the state.
“The people of Massachusetts have been through so much in the past year. But together they put COVID on the run in a spectacular way, “said Baker.
He signed the order to lift remaining coronavirus restrictions and end the state of emergency on June 15.
Baker thanked residents for the vaccination and boasted that Bay State’s vaccine intake is one of the best in the country. More than 78% of the adult population have now received at least one dose.
“With the data as it stands, Massachusetts is in a place where we can lift these restrictions with a pretty high degree of confidence that people did the things we had to do to get them Knock down thing. ” Said Baker.
Baker got emotional, saying that there have been “so many simply amazing stories of kindness, grace, and generosity. But the most important thing people did was get vaccinated. “
When asked about re-election, Baker said, “This will be discussed by the lieutenant governor, myself and our families.”