COVID-19 UPDATE: Governor Baker Announces Timeline for Continued Reopening; Mayor Janey Releases Slightly Altered Timeline for Boston
On April 27, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10th and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29th and August 1st. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. The Administration will also relax the Face Coverings Order for some outdoor settings, effective April 30th. For all guidance and announcements related to reopening, please visit: www.mass.gov/reopening
Friday, April 30
Effective April 30, the face coverings order will be relaxed for some outdoor settings –face coverings will only be required outside in public when it is not possible to socially distance, and at other times required by sector-specific guidance.
Face coverings will still be required at all times in indoor public places. Face coverings will also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except for when eating or drinking. At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required. The $300 fine as an enforcement mechanism will be eliminated.
Monday, May 10
- Capacity for large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ball parks will increase to 25%
- Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be permitted to operate at 50% after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
- Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
- Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.
- Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.
Saturday, May 29
- Subject to public health and vaccination data, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.
- Subject to public health and vaccination data, additional Phase 4, Step 2 industries will be permitted to open including:
- Street festivals, parades and agricultural festivals, at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans to the local board of health.
- Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors.
Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.
Sunday, August 1
Subject to public health and vaccination data, remaining industries will be permitted to open including:
- Dance clubs, and nightclubs
- Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs and other facilities
- Indoor water parks
- Ball pits
All industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries, with businesses encouraged to continue following best practices. The gathering limit will be rescinded.
Depending on vaccine distribution and public health data, the Administration may consider re-evaluating the August 1st date.
Mayor Janey Announces Boston Reopening Timeline
Shortly after Governor Baker’s announcement on April 27, Mayor Janey announced that the City of Boston will be using their own timeline for reopening – delaying some aspects of the State’s timeline by 1-3 weeks. While NAIOP has advocated for a synchronization between municipalities and the State throughout the reopening process, Boston’s leaders decided early on that there would be different dates for implementation where they felt it was appropriate given the city’s specific health metrics. For all guidance and effective dates in the City of Boston, please visit: www.boston.gov/reopening