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COVID-19: Phase 3 of Reopening Begins on July 6 in Massachusetts, July 13 in Boston

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently issued Order 43, moving Massachusetts into Phase 3 of the Commonwealth's four-phased Reopening Plan. Phase 3, like prior phases, has two steps, with Step 1 of Phase 3 taking effect on Monday, July 6. The businesses that may reopen in Phase 3 are listed in Schedule A to Order 43, amending the previous version from Order 37:

  • July 6: Phase 3 Step 1 enterprises outside of Boston may open their brick-and-mortar premises to workers, customers, and the general public.

  • July 13: Phase 3 Step 1 enterprises located in Boston may open their brick-and-mortar premises to workers, customers, and the general public

Based on available public health data, opening of enterprises designated as Step 2 of Phase 3 will be announced at a later date. Businesses designated as Phase 4 must remain closed to the public and may only operate remotely. Phase 4 enterprises may not reopen brick-and-mortar premises until specifically authorized to do so.

Notably, Phase 4 enterprises and enterprises permitted to open only in Step 2 of Phase 3 may open their premises to workers to the degree reasonably necessary to perform critical tasks that cannot be conducted remotely, such as ensuring ongoing maintenance and security of the premises, preservation of inventory and equipment, and compliance with legal obligations.

The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Phase 3 Step 1, subject to industry-specific rules concerning capacity and operations: 

Businesses opening in Phase 3 are required to self-certify that they are in full compliance with all generally applicable COVID-19 workplace safety rules and any applicable sector-specific rules, making their self-certification available for inspection, and posting on premises all public notices and advisories that are required to be displayed. All open businesses are still required to comply with the mandatory safety standards, which includes protocols for social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting, unless supplemented by sector-specific guidelines.

Governor Baker also issued a revised gathering order, Order 44, which now limits indoor gatherings to eight people per 1,000 square feet, but should not exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.

Outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 25% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy, with a maximum of 100 people in a single enclosed outdoor space. This includes community, civic, and sporting events, as well as concerts, conventions, and more. This order does not apply to outdoor, unenclosed gatherings if proper social distancing measures are possible. As with Phase 3 guidance, this revised order is effective on July 6 throughout the Commonwealth, and on July 13 for the city of Boston.

Also in Phase 3, health care providers may continue to provide in-person procedures and services as authorized in Phase 2, with the addition of certain group treatment programs and day programs. All providers must maintain compliance with public health and safety standards. Prioritizing telehealth, meeting public health and infection control standards, adhering to prioritization policies, ensuring equitable access to care, and monitoring patient volume must continue. Additional guidance is available here.

Phase 3 does not include any changes to the operation of public transportation and maintains the quarantine guidance, which instructs all travelers coming from out-of-state to Massachusetts beginning July 1 to quarantine for 14 days, although travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey are exempt.

©2022 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 189

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,...

Sarah Remes Employment Lawyer Pierce Atwood Law Firm

Sarah Remes represents clients in complex commercial litigation, including class actions, employment-related disputes, and internal investigations.

Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Sarah was an associate at a litigation boutique in Boston. During law school, Sarah was a judicial intern for Massachusetts Appeals Court Justice Judd. J. Carhart. She was also the articles editor for the Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law and a member of the Pro Bono Honor Society. Prior to law school, Sarah worked in risk management and internal audit at a Boston-area bank.