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COVID-19: Massachusetts Governor Provides New Guidance on Reopening Phase 2

On June 1, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 35, providing new guidance on Phase 2 of the Reopening Advisory Board’s Reopening Massachusetts Plan. The new guidance explains advance preparations that must be completed by reopening businesses, provides a list of the businesses that may reopen or expand their operations, details a plan for outdoor restaurant dining service, and sets forth new rules for sports activities and programs. Governor Baker did not provide a firm date for when Phase 2 will begin, but stated that it will be set for no earlier than Monday, June 8 and that on Saturday, June 6, his office will provide an update.

In Phase 2, the following businesses and activities will be able to open, subject to general and specific safety standards:

  • Retail stores, including stores in enclosed shopping malls

  • Restaurants with seated food service, including beer gardens, wineries, and distilleries

  • Hotels, motels, inns, and other short-term lodgings

  • Organized youth and outdoor adult amateur sports activities and programs without contact

  • Professional sports training programs

  • Personal services at a fixed place of business or client location, first with no close personal contact (such as house cleaning, photography, and tutoring), and then with close personal contact (such as personal training, massage, and nail salons)

  • Non-athletic classes for children in small groups

  • Driving and flight schools

  • Outdoor historical places with no functions or tours

  • Funeral homes for single services at 40% occupancy

  • Warehouses and distribution centers

  • Golf and other outdoor recreational facilities, including pools, playgrounds, batting cages, and ropes courses

  • Post-secondary and occupational schools for the limited purpose of permitting students to complete programs and for summer youth programming

  • Day camps

  • Public libraries

Businesses in the above categories are exempt from the 10-person limitation on indoor and confined outdoor gatherings if they comply with social distancing requirements and workplace safety rules, including sector-specific rules. The order also provided additional detail about what businesses would be included in Phases 3 and 4. Post-secondary schools, adult instructional classes, gyms and fitness centers, indoor adult recreational sports, casinos, museums, aquariums, indoor theaters, outdoor performance venues, and overnight summer camps will remain closed until Phase 3, which will begin in late June at the earliest. Street festivals and road races will remain closed until Phase 4. For a summary of the four-phase plan and list of businesses permitted to reopen during Phase 1, see our earlier summary here.

The governor’s office released previews of safety standards and checklists for specific industries that will apply in Phase 2, including guidance for restaurantslodgingretail businesses, and golf facilities. Governor Baker has also issued an Order regarding reopening preparations for child care programs. The Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards continue to apply to all sectors and industries, and include guidance on social distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting. Phase 2 does not include any changes to the operation of public transportation and maintains the 14-day self-quarantine instructions for travelers to Massachusetts. With the exceptions to businesses permitted to reopen in Phase 2, gatherings continue to be limited to 10 or fewer people except for gatherings in an unenclosed outdoor space.

©2022 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 156

About this Author

Kathleen Hamann White Collar Attorney Pierce Atwood Washington, DC

Kathleen Hamann is an internationally recognized authority in the field of white collar enforcement and compliance matters. Drawing on her nearly 20 years of service to the federal government, in roles at the US Department of Justice and Department of State, Kathleen helps clients navigate the complexities of U.S. and transnational criminal liability and multijurisdictional government investigations.

Since returning to private practice, Kathleen has represented clients in a number of transnational matters, conducting global risk assessments, designing compliance programs, and...

Melanie Conroy Commercial Litigation Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm

Melanie Conroy focuses her practice on class action defense and complex commercial litigation. She has represented clients in connection with internal, government, and regulatory investigations, and has counseled boards of directors, board committees, and senior management on a broad range of matters, including securities, corporate governance, disclosure, and regulatory issues.

Melanie represents businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries, including life sciences, financial services, insurance, private equity, real estate, energy, media, consumer electronics,...