REOPENING OF MASSACHUSETTS, from the office of Governor Baker

Hello MALCP:  Most of our members have been working as Essential Services since the first round of COVID-19 designations. Governor Baker issued the following Reopening announcement. There has been some confusion. We felt it was important to keep you informed about the latest round and the resources available. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks Karen

REOPENING OF MASSACHUSETTS, from the office of Governor Baker

This week, the Baker-Polito Administration released the Reopening Advisory Board’s report on the four-phase reopening of the Massachusetts economy, Reopening Massachusetts. This report outlines a roadmap for gradually reopening, as well as guidance as to when which businesses may reopen, and what standards they must adhere to in Phase 1.

Phase 1 began on May 18th with lifting restrictions in some industries/sectors. The next milestone you should be aware of within Phase 1 is May 25th, when additional sectors are able to reopen with limitations (including curbside pickup for retail businesses). Phase 1 will last at least three weeks; the Commonwealth will progress to Phase 2 when public health metrics and progress indicate it is safe to do so.

Below, I’ve summarized key steps businesses should take as they look ahead to reopening. As always, I hope you will get this word out to the businesses in your communities. I’d also recommend reviewing and circulating What Businesses Can Expect in Phase 1 to businesses, as it offers a condensed, one-page summary of key information.


1. Identify the phase in which your industry or sector is eligible to reopen

2. Read the guidance for reopening

  • Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
  • General Business Guidance
  • Sector-Specific Protocols and Best Practices (if applicable; additional guidance will be made available as we progress through the Phases)
  • Please note that businesses that have been offering essential services and have remained open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak must adhere to the safety standards and create a COVID-19 Control Plan (see below) by May 25th. Businesses with office spaces that have been operating as an essential service have until July 1st to comply with occupancy limits.

3. Develop a COVID-19 Control Plan

  • You may use the COVID-19 Control Plan template or create your own written plan.
  • All businesses in the Commonwealth 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.
  • Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premises and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak.

4. Before reopening, the business must meet the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and attest to compliance

5. Reopen brick-and-mortar operations safely and in line with guidance

  • These standards will be jointly enforced by local Boards of Health and the state’s Department of Labor Standards (DLS).
  • Businesses play a key role in setting a standard for safe public interactions and in restoring consumer confidence.
  • By adhering to these mandatory standards and best practices, businesses, employees, and customers will ensure Massachusetts is able to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 4, the “New Normal.” It’s all of our responsibility to ensure we move forward, and not backwards, in reopening the Massachusetts economy.
Additional resources:
  • What Businesses Can Expect in Phase 1, which condenses key detail into a single page
  • The report, Reopening Massachusetts, offers the full framework of the four-phased reopening and provides an overview of the issues underpinning the approach
  • The Reopening: Four-Phase Approach page outlines the phased approach and the key role that public health benchmarks play in reopening
  • The Purchasing Hygienic or Protective Supplies page includes information for employers and employees about supplies needed to return to workplaces, as well as a Vendor Tool to assist businesses in locating and purchasing hygienic and protective supplies
  • Department of Public Health’s Safer-At-Home Advisory gives key guidance for all residents of the Commonwealth, including employers and employees, during Phase 1. Please note, businesses authorized to operate under Phase 1 are not subject to the 10-person limitation on gatherings.
  • Note for retail businesses: retail businesses may engage in curbside pickup sales as of May 25th. Please check the Essential Services FAQ document for current guidance on remote fulfillment. Additional notes on curbside pickup guidance will be available in the coming days.
Mike Kennealy, Secretary
Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
One Ashburton Place, Room 2101
Boston, MA  02108