On Monday, May 18, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced plans to cautiously reopen Massachusetts businesses in accordance with the previously announced Four-Phase Approach to Reopening Massachusetts.
Pursuant to the plans announced by Governor Baker, created in conjunction with the Reopening Advisory Board, the first phase of reopening Massachusetts is scheduled to go into effect with the following guidelines:
- Specific safety standards are expected to be observed socially (e.g., social distancing, hygiene) and commercially (e.g., mandatory workplace safety standards, sector specific protocols).
- Businesses seeking to reopen must develop a COVID-19 Control Plan and must follow a mandated self-certification process (available here). Reopening will not be mandatory.
- MBTA will continue to operate on a reduced schedule until at least Phase 2.
- Guidance relative to the phasing in of childcare and recreational summer camps is being developed by the Departments of Early Education and Care and Public Health and is expected in the coming weeks.
Phase 1 Permitted Openings (May 18, 2020)
- Houses of worship may resume services subject to guidelines, including encouragement of outdoor services.
- Essential Businesses.
- Hospitals and community health centers may resume limited activities with specific restrictions and requirements.
Phase 1 Permitted Openings (May 25, 2020)
- Laboratories and life science facilities.
- Office space, excluding the City of Boston, subject to restrictions.
- Limited personal services, including hair salons/barbershops and pet grooming (by appointment only) and car washes (exterior only).
- Retailers able to provide curbside pickup and/or remote fulfillment.
- Healthcare providers may resume limited activities with specific restrictions and requirements.
Phase 1 Permitted Openings (June 1, 2020)
- Office space located within the City of Boston, subject to restrictions.
Subject to restrictions on capacity and other limitations, restaurants, retail, lodging, and additional personal services (e.g., nail salons, day spas) are expected to reopen in Phase 2, as well as recreational facilities including campgrounds, playgrounds, and athletic fields. Similarly, Phase 2 is expected to include expanded in-person ambulatory care including preventative services and certain elective procedures.
Additional social businesses, including bars, youth sports, and gyms and fitness facilities are not expected to open until Phase 3, subject to capacity restrictions.
If you have any questions relating to the phased reopening of Massachusetts and/or how the announced protocols may impact your business, please feel free to contact our office. For continued updates on COVID-19 related matters, please follow Ruberto, Israel & Weiner on LinkedIn.
This summary is presented for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, nor create an attorney-client relationship. For a full understanding of the issues, please contact counsel of your choice.