COVID-19: Massachusetts Begins Step 2 of Phase 2 on June 22

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued Order 37 initiating Phase 2 of the Commonwealth's four-phased Reopening Plan. The order builds on Order 35, which provided the initial framework for Phase 2. Our write-up of that order and Step 1 businesses is available here. As explained in Order 37, Phase 2 is a two-step progression, with Step 1 businesses – those that are not specifically designated in subsequent guidance as Step 2 – were able to open as of June 8.

On June 19, Governor Baker issued Order 40, announcing that Step 2 of Phase 2 will begin on June 22. As of that date, the following businesses may expand or resume operations. We’ve added links to sector-specific guidance:

  • Restaurants: may begin limited indoor dining with tables at least six feet apart, no more than six people at each table, and no seating in the bar area.
  • Offices: may increase their capacity from 25% to 50% occupancy, but employees must continue to telework where feasible, particularly in more densely populated areas like Boston.
  • Close contact personal services, including massage therapy, nail salons, tattoo parlors, electrolysis studios, and tattoo and piercing salons.
  • Personal trainers: limited to appointment-only training with only one customer (or two from the same household) allowed in the facility at a time (see guidance for close contact personal services)

All open businesses are still required to comply with the mandatory safety standards, which includes protocols for social distancing, hygiene, 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 exception of 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.

Governor Baker stressed that he will want to review at least two weeks of data after indoor dining commences before beginning other indoor activities as part of Phase 3.

We continue to update our state-by-state guide on reopening across New England, which is available here. Our guide on reopening summer camps in Massachusetts is available here.

For questions on the latest orders regarding step two of phase two, please contact Pierce Atwood attorneys Kate HamannMelanie Conroy, or Sarah Remes.