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On May 18, 2020 the Baker-Polito Administration announced and provided a more detailed explanation of the 4-Phased Reopening Approach that will occur in the weeks and months ahead in Massachusetts.  Advancement to the next phase of opening will be determined by the progress of six public health indicators.  These indicators will be closely monitored and a summary will now be available as part of the daily COVID-19 Dashboard.

The Go-To State website for all thing related to Massachusetts' Reopening.  

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Below you'll find a timeline summary of Reopening Announcements by the Governor.

September 29, 2020


Advancement to Phase 3, Step 2 for low risk cities/towns
On September 29, the Baker-Polito Administration announced further movement into the reopening phases.  Phase 3, Step 2 will go into effect on October 5, but only for those cities/towns that are considered low risk (as indicated by the State during its weekly Wednesday public health report.  An easy reference list can be found here.  Of interest to our residents may include;
*Indoor performance venues may open with 50% capacity (max 250 people)
*Outdoor performance venues capacity increases to 50% (max 250 people)
*Trampoline parks, laser tag, obstacle courses may open with 50% capacity.
*Fitting rooms may be open in retail stores.
*Gyms, museums, libraries capacity increases to 50%.
Of course, all these changes come with changes to the standards.  To find specific details about the standards these establishments must adhere to, go to their sector specific reopening page.


Changes to the Gathering Order
The Governor also revised his Gatherings Order and has increased from 50 to 100 people.  Indoor gathering limits and limits on private property remain the same.
Again, this increase is effective October 5 AND only for those cities/towns that are identified as lower risk.


Stay Safe This Halloween
According to the CDC, traditional door to door trick or treating is considered a high risk activity during COVID.  Click here for both the State and CDC Halloween Guidance.

September 24, 2020

Indoor Visitation Guidance for Nursing Homes, Rest Homes, and Assisted Living Residences Announced
This guidance expands on the already existing guidance allowing for outdoor and some indoor visitation.
For visitation information at long-term care facilities, click here.
For visitation information at assisted living residences, click here.

Changes to Reopening Standards - Restaurants, Retail Businesses - Effective September 28, 2020.
The Baker-Polito Administration announced updates to a few reopening standards.  Of interest to Town Residents may include bar seating at restaurants (with certain safety standards in place) and self-serve beverage stations allowed at retail locations (again with certain safety standards in place).
For all updates, visit the Massachusetts Sector Specific Reopening Webpage.


September 17, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration urges Residents to get a flu shot ahead of the 2020/2021 flu season
--Getting a flu shot will help reduce the number of potential hospitalization due to the seasonal flu, allowing for more hospital capacity should there be a second surge in COVID-19 cases that require hospitalizations.
--The State has assured residents that they have accounted for the anticipated increase demand in the flu vaccine.  Visit www.vaccinefinder.org should you need to locate vaccine availability.  But you can also start by checking with your health care provider and local pharmacies.
--Reminder:  The flu vaccine is required for all Massachusetts school students enrolled in child care (over the age of 6 mos.), preschool, those in grades K-12, as well as if enrolled in MA colleges and universities.  For more information, specific requirements, and exemptions, click here.


August 7, 2020

Effective August 7, 2020 - Rhode Island has been REMOVED from DPH's "lower risk" list
Due to an increase in case counts, all visitors and returning residents from Rhode Island will need to adhere to the quarantine/negative test requirements of the Governor's Travel Order.  Of course, the same exemptions apply.  
Being so close to Rhode Island, you may have questions on what is or isn't allowed.  The State will be doing their best to answer some of the most recent questions they've received on this topic and will be putting it in the "Potential Other Traveler Scenarios" section of the www.mass.gov/matraveler website.  Take a look there if you have questions.  If it's not answered there, call 2-1-1.

Changes to the Gatherings Order - Effective August 11, 2020
Due to an increase in cases in some communities across Massachusetts, Governor Baker has revised the existing Gathering Order.  Major changes include:
*Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 50 people only (This applies to PUBLIC & PRIVATE property)
*Face coverings required where more than 10 people from different households will be mixing.

Recent Increase in Cases - What to Expect
**In the weeks ahead, the DPH will begin classifying all communities by risk.  Data will be available in the weekly public health report.
**Enforcement of COVID compliance is expected to increase
**Phase III, Step 2 of the reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.


July 31, 2020

Do Your Part!  Stop the Spread!  Wear a Mask!
Data has shown that one of the easiest, most effective ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19, is to wear a face covering when out in public!  The Baker/Polito Administration has launched a new campaign (#MaskupMA) to stress the importance of wearing face coverings.  Visit www.mass.gov/maskupma for more information.

*Remember these important tips about face coverings*
--Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
--Make sure it snugly, but comfortably, against the side of the face
--It should be secured with ties or ear loops
--Includes multiple layers of fabric
--Allows for breathing without restriction
--Make sure reusable face coverings can be machine washed and dried without damaging it or changing its shape
For a pictoral infographic of "How to Use Face Coverings Effectively", in multiple languages, click here.


July 24, 2020


New Travel Order For All Out-of-State Travel
--Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts are now required to 1.) Complete the "Massachusetts Travel Form" 2.) Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test results that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts.
--Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.
--There are exemptions;
Travel to/from lower-risk State, transitory travel, persons commuting for work or school, patients seeking or receiving medical treatment, military personnel, workers providing critical infrastructure services.  A more in-depth explanation of these exemptions can be found here.
--Still not quite sure if this will affect you?  Click here for some FAQs on this Order.
--Need to get a test now?  Go to the State's Test Site Locator to find one close to you that meets your needs.

FOR A COMPLETE SUMMARY OF THIS NEW ORDER, go to mass.gov/matraveler.  To read the full Order, click here.


July 21, 2020

Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures extended
The Baker-Polito administration extends the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to October 17.  The extension letter can be found here.  For those needing financial assistance or other resources surrounding housing, please visit the Department of Housing and Community Development COVID-19 resource page.

6th Annual Summer Nights Initiative Continues.
The Summer Nights Initiative will continue with proper social distancing and safety guidelines in place.  The Program is run at participating organizations throughout Massachusetts.  For more information and to see the schedule, click here.

July 2, 2020

The Baker-Polito Administration announces the start date for Phase 3

--Governor Baker announced Phase 3 will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020 (City of Boston, Phase 3 will begin July 13).  Phase 3 will operate like Phase 2 and will be a TWO STEP approach.  Of interest to our residents, Phase 3 - Step One will allow the reopening of many indoor locations including; movie theaters and outdoor performance venues, fitness centers, museums, private party rooms AND professional sports teams (under league-wide rules) may hold games without spectators.  All sector specific guidance can be found on the Massachusetts Reopening page under "Sector-specific protocols and best practices".

--For the list of who can open when, click here.

--The Gatherings Order has also been revised.  Highlight of changes include:
~Indoor gatherings limited to 8 people per 1,000 square feet (but should not exceed 25 people in a single indoor space.
~Enclosed outdoor spaces are limited to 25% of facility's max permitted occupancy - max of 100 people.
Effective July 6 (City of Boston - Effective July 13)

July 1, 2020

Travel restrictions eased for travel from Northeast States
Since the early beginning of this pandemic, travel directives have instructed travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving to Massachusetts from travel out of State. 

Beginning July 1, the Governor has eased this directive.  Travelers DO NOT need to self-quarantine for 14 days if they have traveled from:
Rhode Island
Connecticut
Vermont
New Hampshire
Maine
New York
New Jersey

As always, essential infrastructure workers are exempt from this directive for work purposes and persons are instructed not to travel if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

For information on international travel, click here.

June 19, 2020

Step 2 of Phase II to begin on Monday, June 22
Governor Baker announced today, that Step 2 of Phase II will begin on Monday, June 22, 2020.  Of interest to Residents, the start of Step 2, allows indoor table service at restaurants, close-contact personal services, retail dressing rooms (by appointment only) and offices can allow staff to return at a 50% capacity.  It is important to note that although these businesses are allowed to offer these services on Monday, there may be delays in their opening as each business works to incorporate and comply with their sector specific safety standards and restrictions.  For those looking for these sector specific guidance, click here

June 8, 2020

Governor to address the Class of 2020
Have a graduating Senior?  Tune in to WGBH TONIGHT for a commencement experience like no other, as Governor Baker's gives a virtual commencement address to the Class of 2020.  

When: Tuesday, June 9 @ 7:30 p.m.
How to access: WGBH 2 (Station, Facebook page, Youtube, IGTV and Twitch) and all Boston TV stations will be covering the event.


Remarks will also be made by Jason and Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots, members of the Red Sox and Boston Celtics, and other celebrities with Massachusetts ties including singer Rachel Plateen, Steve Carell and more.


June 6, 2020

Phase 2 begins Monday, June 8, 2020.
During Governor Baker's June 6, 2020 press conference, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Phase 2 will begin Monday, June 8, 2020 for certain businesses and activities.  Phase 2, with respect to reopening, will be a TWO STEP approach (see below). 

Of interest to our Residents, the start of Phase 2 (STEP ONE) will allow restaurants to open (outdoor dining only), pools, recreational camps, playgrounds, browsing in retail stores, and youth sports (with strict guidelines including no-contact activities).  

STEP TWO of the Phase 2 reopening, which a start date is still "to be determined" will include indoor restaurant dining and close contact personal services such as massage therapy or nail salons.  The start of STEP TWO will be determined after continuous review of public health data.

For a full list of which businesses and activities will be allowed to open in which step, click here.

Just as in Phase 1, all businesses wishing to reopen will need to comply with the State's workplace safety standards as well as any other sector specific standards for their industry.  These documents can be found here.  

June 4, 2020

New Sector-specific Guidance
The State continues to develop and make available, sector-specific reopening guidance and safety standards.  Of interest to many, may be the recent issued guidance that has included safety standards for; public and semi-public pools as well as playgrounds, spray decks, and outdoor fitness areas.  This new guidance and other guidance associated with "Outdoor Recreation" can be found here.

June 3, 2020

Nursing/Assisted Living/Rest Home Family Visitation Restrictions Eased
Beginning June 3, the State has eased visitation restrictions to allow for scheduled outdoor visits (with strict guidelines).   

June 1, 2020

Phase 2 Updates - Executive Orders Issued
Note: A Phase 2 reopening date has NOT YET been announced

--Check the "When can my business reopen".  This  list has been recently updated again following the Governor's two executive orders. 
--The Preparing for Phase 2 Reopening Order, allows businesses, designated as being able to open during Phase 2, the ability to open their place of business and bring employees back to assist in preparing for their reopening.  However, while doing so, the business must comply with applicable workplace/sector specific safety standards.  This Order also speaks to youth, adult and professional sports allowances.  
--The Governor also signed the Childcare Provider Reopening Order giving those early childcare programs time to prepare accordingly for a Phase 2 reopening as well.
--Most recent sector specific guidance and best practices for those reopening in Phase 2, include;  Restaurants, Lodging, Retail Stores, Golf Facilities and Summer Camps!  You can read all the guidance documents here.

May 29, 2020

Restaurant & Lodging Sector-specific "Safety Standards" and "Checklists" (Preview) now available
--In order for restaurants and lodging facilities to prepare for their reopening in Phase 2 (Note: A target Phase 2 reopening date has NOT YET been announced) the State has made available a "preview" of the sector-specific protocols and best practices for each.  All businesses in these sectors must not only comply with these sector-specific safety standards but must also self-certify that they have a written control plan in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Completion and posting of the "Compliance Attestation Poster" is also required.  ALL reopening documents can be found on the State's Reopening Massachusetts website.  
--Also tune in to the Governor's press conference on Monday, June 1st, when it is expected that the Governor will issue an executive order that will provide detailed list of sectors that fall into each phase.  It was also announced that the Order will allow businesses to bring back employees to prepare for their Phase 2 opening.  The Order is also expected to allow professional sports team to begin practicing.  Tune in to the Press Conference by clicking on the link on the State's website (under "Latest News").


May 18, 2020

Details Associated with Massachusetts' 4-Phased Reopening is announced
--The Baker-Polito Administration provided a more detailed overview of the 4-Phased Reopening Approach that will occur in the weeks and months ahead.  In this same breath, they also reminded Residents to continue being vigilant regarding the personal responsibility that we have to use face coverings, wash hands and high touch surfaces frequently, maintain social distancing (6ft apart) and monitor yourself for symptoms and stay home if you're sick.  Going forward, all information related to the reopening of Massachusetts and each phase can be found here.  
--So which businesses are allowed to open and in what phase?  For a reopening timeline associated with each business type, click here.
--In order for a business to reopen, they must attest they have a written control plan outlining how the workplace will comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards.  The State has provided a Control Plan Template that may be used as this self-certification, which again is needed for your business to reopen.  Other important State documents, including the "Compliance Attestation  Poster" that must be printed and posted at your place of business in order to be in compliance, and can be found here under "General business guidance".
--The Department of Public Health has modified the "Stay-at-Home" Advisory to the "Safer-at-home" Advisory.  Read the full advisory here, but still advises those over 65 and/or those with underlying health conditions, to stay home except for essential service needs. 

May 15, 2020


Closure of all non-essential businesses extended
--Governor Baker extended the emergency order requiring the closure of all non-essential business by 24 hours until May 19, 2020 ahead of the Governor's announcement of the phased reopening to be detailed in the 'Reopening Report'.  Read full Order here.

May 11, 2020

Publishing of the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards

--The Baker-Polito Administration spoke in generalities of what industry and businesses will see as the State rolls out a 4-Phase reopening approach.  The goal of the phased reopening approach is to limit any resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.
For a detailed explanation of the State's "Phased Reopening" approach click here
--The Administration also published the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.  Whether you are currently an essential business or a business that will be allowed to resume operation under Phase 1, all will be required to follow these Statewide-Universal safety standards.  It is expected that "industry-specific" safety guidance will  also be provided, as warranted, upon the opening of certain industry sectors.