Construction, manufacturing, and places of worship will be allowed to open this week, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday, and more industries will follow in the next couple weeks, including offices and hair salons.
Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito gave details of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 reopening plan Monday. More industries and activities will open in the next three phase. The phases will be at least three weeks apart, depending on the COVID-19 statistics and how well people are following the social distancing guidelines.
The decision on when future phases of the reopening will be based on “six key public health metrics,” Baker said. They include:
- COVID-19 positive test rate;
- Number of individuals who died from COVID-19;
- Number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals;
- Health care system readiness;
- Testing capacity;
- Contact tracing capabilities.
The Governor also announced changes to the stay-at-home advisory. Residents should stay home unless they are going to an essential business or to one of the newly reopened industries. Those age 65 and older should stay home except for medical reasons or to visit essential businesses.
Baker encouraged residents to remain vigilant in continuing to take steps to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, including: covering your face and mouth when unable to socially distance, wash your hands, socially distance (keep at least 6 feet apart), and if you have symptoms of COVID-19 stay home.
The industries allowed to open as of May 18 will be able to do so after they create a COVID-19 health and safety plans, Polito said. Also, most businesses will have restrictions on capacity.
The required materials for businesses to self-certify can be found at mass.gov/reopening. Some include:
- a COVID-19 Control Plan template, which must be retained on premises and provided in the event of an inspection
- a Compliance Attestation poster showing the business has a completed COVID-19 Control Plan, which must be posted in a location visible to employees and visitors
- Other posters and signs describing rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, as well as cleaning and disinfecting
On May 25, the following industries will be allowed to reopen: offices outside Boston at 25 percent capacity, lab space, limited personal services (hair, pet grooming and car washes), and retail stores will be allowed to offer curbside pickup. These businesses must develop a health and safety plan before opening. Offices in Boston will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity on June 1.
Hair and pet grooming will be by appointment only, and carwashes will only be for the exterior of cars.
Also beginning May 25, recreation and outdoor facilities will be able to reopen with restrictions. This includes parks, some athletic fields and courts, beaches, gardens, zoos, reserves, drive-in movie theaters. Many outdoor activities will also be allowed, including fishing, boating, hunting and many outdoor adventure activities.
In Phase 2, the businesses that could reopen are retail, restaurants, lodging, and more personal services — nails and day spas. Libraries will be able to open for inside browsing in Phase 2.
Polito said that the administration is looking at also possibly allowing summer camps to reopen in phase 2. In the list of which activities fall into each phase, day camps are allowed in phase 2 and residential camps in phase 3.
Phase 3 would allow bars, arts & entertainment (which includes casinos, gyms, and museums), plus all other businesses, except nightclubs and large venues. Theaters and concert halls are allowed to open in Phase 3.
In phase 4, full resumption of normal activities will occur.
To see more details about which phase specific types of businesses will be reopening click here.