April 26, 2021

WEST BARNSTABLE – State Representative Steve Xiarhos (R – 5th Barnstable) is calling for additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Barnstable County businesses, allowing more Cape Cod businesses to reopen and expand operations by Memorial Day.

“With the summer tourist season fast approaching, thousands of local businesses are depending on us to send a strong message, loud and clear: Cape Cod is open for business and ready to welcome visitors this summer.”

Xiarhos says that given current conditions, the state should consider increasing capacity limits for shops and restaurants, which are important for Cape Cod’s economy. He also advocates expanding opportunities for outdoor events, including golf, road races, and charitable events.

Declining case counts and improved vaccination rates mean that the state can feel more confident moving ahead with reopening, according to Xiarhos. “I give credit to the Baker-Polito administration for delivering vaccines to those in our state who need or wish to receive a dose,” he said. “That process is ongoing. But, I believe we are approaching the point of being able to reap some rewards from this process by reopening more of our businesses and starting to resume a better sense of normalcy.”

“Make no mistake about it, COVID-19 is still here and we still need to be careful,” Xiarhos continued. “It’s important not to let our guard down too much, we do not want to reverse the successes we have achieved. However, I also believe that the overall risk from the virus has lessened to the point where it is responsible to allow more businesses to reopen and increase their operations. The potential risks of further reopening are increasingly outweighed by the harm of continuing burdensome business restrictions.”

Data recently released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health show that nearly one-half of Massachusetts residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with about one-third of Massachusetts residents reporting being fully-vaccinated.