It was a big day yesterday here in Massachusetts. For the first time in months, COVID-19 restrictions were actually relaxed as opposed to tightened.

Restaurants were allowed to return to full capacity as long as they were observing social distancing, not allowing parties to linger for more than 90 minutes, and limiting parties to six people.

As you can imagine, Governor Charlie Baker's decision to move into Phase 3, Step 2 of the re-opening plan was met with a mixed reaction. Not unlike the three bears, some residents feel that restrictions are still too tight, some believe they are too loose, and some feel they are just right.

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We decided to look into the restrictions from other states to see where Massachusetts ranks vs. other states in New England and around the country. WalletHub compared the 50 states across 14 key metrics. The states were weighted on criteria like whether or not restaurants were open and whether they require face masks in public.

Out of all the New England states, New Hampshire puts its slogan "Live Free or Die" into practice. They have the lowest number of COVID restrictions out of any of the New England states. Vermont, on the other hand, is tighter than every other state in America except for one. Virginia ranks No. 1 in the country for most COVID restrictions.

Looking across the rest of the country, only four other states are more restricted when it comes to COVID than Massachusetts. Here they are:

  1. Virginia
  2. Vermont
  3. Hawaii
  4. California
  5. Massachusetts

What states have the fewest COVID restrictions?

  1. Iowa
  2. South Carolina
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Idaho
  5. South Dakota

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Massachusetts reopening plays out. Will Phase 4 really happen in three weeks? Will students return to full-time in-person learning within the next 30 days?

March will answer a lot of questions when it comes to COVID restrictions here in Massachusetts.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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