Phased Reopening per Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Four Phase Approach
The Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.
Per Governor Baker, Limits on gatherings
- Governor's COVID-19 Order #54 (issued November 2, 2020, effective November 6, 12:01 AM) Reduced gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues remains the same. Requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.
Also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.
- Governor's COVID-19 Order #52 (issued September 29, 2020) Made adjustments to gathering limits: (1) Indoor gatherings at all venues and locations limited to 25 people, (2) Outdoor gatherings at private residences limited to 50 people, (3) Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings (as further defined in the Order) (a) Lower Risk Communities - up to 100 people, (b) Communities that do not qualify as lower risk – up to 50 people (rescinded by Order #54 effective 11/6, 12:01AM)
Update September 29, 2020
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to Step II of Phase III for Lower Risk Communities Effective October 5th
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase III, Step I. Governor Charlie Baker also issued a revised gatherings order. Industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase I, II, and III businesses will also be updated.
Phase III, Step II:
On May 18, the Baker-Polito Administration released a four-phased plan to reopen the economy based on sustained improvements in public health data.
Last month, the Administration began releasing data on the average daily COVID cases per 100,000 residents, average percent positivity, and total case counts, for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.
Lower risk communities are defined as cities and towns that have not been a “red” community in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health (DPH) weekly reports.
Effective October 5, a limited number of sectors will be eligible to reopen, with restrictions, in Step II of Phase III for lower risk communities only:
- Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
- Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a maximum of 250 people.
- For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
- Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.
- Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.
Revised Gatherings Order:
- The limit for indoor gatherings remains at a maximum of 25 people for all communities.
- Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 50 people for all communities.
- Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings will have a limit of 50 people in Step I communities, and a limit of 100 people in lower risk, Step II communities.
Reopening Phase III mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for restaurants. Updated: September 22 | Effective: September 28 , 2020
Massachusetts Launches “My Local MA” Campaign to Drive Economic Activity and Safely Support Small and Local Businesses
Safety Standards for Indoor and Outdoor Gathering as of August 11, 2020
Governor Baker is signing an updated gatherings order, effective Tuesday, August 11, which will:
Reduce the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people (indoor gatherings limit will remain at 25 people) Apply these limits to all types of gatherings, on both public and private property.
Require face coverings where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.
Due to the recent increase in positive cases, step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.
Restaurant rules have been updated to state that alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site. The administration will be taking measures to ensure that bars masquerading as restaurants will be closed.
Public safety officials, including state and local law enforcement, have the jurisdiction to enforce these orders and event hosts in violation of these orders will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders.
Baker-Polito Administration Extends Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures to October 17, 2020
Travel Advisory as of August 1, 2020
The new travel order requires all visitors and returning residents to fill out a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also provides that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts.
Phase Three Step One Opening
The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase III, subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations:
- Movie theaters and outdoor performance venues;
- Museums, cultural and historical sites;
- Fitness centers and health clubs;
- Certain indoor recreational activities with low potential for contact;
- Professional sports teams, under the authority of league-wide rules, may hold games without spectators
Please use the following links for more information:
Phase Two Step Two Opening
Consistent with Public Health Data and Trends, Step Two of Phase II of Reopening Massachusetts Set to Begin on June 22, 2020.
Phase Two Step One Opening
The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase II on June 8, 2020, with contingencies:
- Retail, with occupancy limits;
- Childcare facilities and day camps, with detailed guidance;
- Restaurants, outdoor table service only;
- Hotels and other lodgings, no events, functions or meetings;
- Warehouses and distribution centers;
- Personal services without close physical contact, such as home cleaning, photography, window washing, career coaching and education tutoring;
- Post-secondary, higher education, vocational-tech and occupation schools for the purpose of completing graduation requirements;
- Youth and adult amateur sports, with detailed guidance;
- Outdoor recreation facilities
- Professional sports practices, no games or public admissions;
- Non-athletic youth instructional classes in arts, education or life skills and in groups of less than 10;
- Driving and flight schools
- Outdoor historical spaces, no functions, gatherings or guided tours;
- Funeral homes, with occupancy limits
Health care providers may also incrementally resume in-person elective, non-urgent procedures and services, including routine office visits, dental visits and vision care subject to compliance with public health and safety standards. All other in-person medical, behavioral health, dental and vision services may also resume on June 8th, except for elective cosmetic procedures and in-person day programs, which will be included in Phase III. Telehealth must continue to be utilized and prioritized to the greatest extent possible, whenever feasible and appropriate.
Limited reopening of visitation will also begin, and all visitation is subject to infection control protocol, social distancing and face coverings. Given the diversity of facilities and programs, there are specific timetables for visitation, and congregate care programs will be reaching out to families with specific details on scheduling visits.
All businesses in the state of MA must develop a written control plan outlining how its workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period. This template may be filled out to meet that requirement. Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premise and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak. All individually listed businesses must complete a control plan, even if the business is part of a larger corporation or entity.
Guidance from the Commonwealth to Reopen
The following detailed commentary is related to the Executive Order signed by Governor Baker on May 18, 2020. This document is intended to provide additional information on businesses and activities summarized in the Reopening Massachusetts report. This is not an exhaustive list of all possible businesses that can open in each phase; it may be updated from time to time.
Mandatory Safety Standards
Businesses and other organizations shall limit occupancy within their office space to no more than 25 percent of (a) the maximum occupancy level specified in any certificate of occupancy or similar permit or as provided for under the state building code; or (b) the business or organization’s typical occupancy as of March 1, 2020. •
Any business or other organization that has been operating as a “COVID-19 Essential Service” as of May 18, 2020 shall have until July 1, 2020 to comply with these occupancy limitations.
Businesses and other organizations may exceed this maximum occupancy level based on a demonstrated need for relief based on public health or public safety considerations or where strict compliance may interfere with the continued delivery of critical services
Office Space Safety
SECTOR SPECIFIC WORKPLACE SPECIFIC SAFETY STANDARDS FOR OFFICE SPACES TO ADDRESS COVID-19 STARTING MAY 18, 2020
Office Check List to Maintain Safety
The items to check regularly will be Social Distancing, Hygiene Protocols, Staffing and Operations and Cleaning and Disinfecting.
Compliance with Reopening
In order to reopen your business, please complete and sign the following checklist once you have completed your COVID-19 Control Plan template.