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Here’s what can reopen in Mass. during Phases 2, 3, and 4

A customer at Luxie Nail Spa in the North End got her nails done by Ngoc Vuong on Monday.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Governor Charlie Baker on Friday announced that the second step of Phase 2 of reopening can begin in Massachusetts on Monday, June 22.

Here’s a look at what businesses and sectors fall into this next phase, as well as the two following it, according to state guidance and public comments from officials.

Phase 2, Step 1: Cautious (June 8)

- Gatherings of 10 or more people will be prohibited in any “confined indoor or outdoor space,” but gatherings of 10 or more people will be allowed as long as everyone is in an “unenclosed, outdoor space such as a park, backyard, athletic field, or parking lot,” and as long as everyone can remain 6 feet apart and the type of gathering taking place has not specifically been prohibited (for example, street festivals and road races still are not allowed under Phase 2). Read the full executive order on gatherings here.

- Retail stores, including those inside shopping malls, can reopen for browsing — with restrictions. Stores can only allow eight people (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of indoor space, or 40 percent of the store’s maximum permitted occupancy. Everyone should remain six feet apart and wear face coverings.


For those shopping for makeup and clothes, be warned: There can be no “sampling or application of personal goods (i.e., make-up, perfume, lotion),” and fitting rooms for trying on clothes will be closed.

- Restaurants: Restaurants will be able to open for outdoor dining; indoor dining would follow in Step 2 of Phase 2, though exactly when that will be has yet to be determined. Tables must remain six feet apart or be separated by walls or by six-foot-high plexiglass dividers, according to the new guidelines. Parties will be capped at six people, and diners will not be allowed to sit at the bar. Menus must be disposed of after each use or otherwise be put on display or be accessible on customers’ phones.


Tables and chairs must also be sanitized after each party, and utensils should be rolled or packaged.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said last week that while employees will have to wear face coverings and patrons will have to do the same when moving about restaurants, customers “don’t need to wear their face covering” while seated and they can “enjoy the experience of dining out.”

Restaurants also should get diners’ contact information, whether they make a reservation or walk-in for a table, according to the guidelines. In the event of a presumptive or positive case of COVID-19 in a worker, patron, or vendor, the restaurant must immediately shut down for 24 hours and be cleaned and disinfected before reopening.

- Beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries have gotten the go-ahead to open under Phase 2 if they are “providing seated food service under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities.” However, those that do not provide seated food service wouldn’t be able to reopen until Phase 4, which could start July 20 at the earliest.

- Lodging: While hotels, motels, inns, and other short-term lodgings are currently open to essential workers and vulnerable populations, they will be allowed to reopen to other guests during Phase 2, with a bundle of restrictions. All function rooms — including ballrooms, meeting rooms, and any indoor or outdoor event facilities — must remain closed, and weddings and business gatherings are not allowed. The businesses must also tell guests the state’s policy urging travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving from out of state.


Within the rooms where guests stay, hotels must take out pens, paper, and any magazines, directories, and brochures. They are also required to sanitize all hard surfaces “at a minimum each time a guest checks out and before the next guest is admitted,” as well as launder all linens, bedspreads, and covers. Operators should also “consider leaving guest rooms vacant for 24 hours as part of cleaning protocol to allow for deep cleaning, disinfectant and cleaners to dry, and reasonable air exchange.”

- Day camps and child care facilities will be allowed to reopen in Phase 2 once they have met several requirements for keeping children and staff safe, Baker said Monday. The new safety guidelines call for children and staff to have their temperature checked every day before they enter. Parents will also have to answer have to a series of questions about the health of the child and all others in their household, including specifics on individual symptoms, before the child can enter a day care space.

Children will be restricted to groups of 10 and must remain with the same staff and the same children throughout the day. Staff and children over 2 are also encouraged to wear masks whenever 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. The health requirements cover all programs serving children and youth, including recreational summer programs, camps, home-based child care, and center-based child care.


Overnight camps will not be able to reopen until later this summer.

- Limited organized youth and adult amateur sports programs and activities can resume under Phase 2. Adults can only play outdoors; supervised youth programs and activities can be held indoors. (Under Phase 3, all ages can play both indoors and outdoors.)

- Casinos: The actual gaming floors won’t be able to open until Phase 3, but the hotels and restaurants attached to them can reopen under Phase 2 — although they must follow safety guidelines for each sector.

- Libraries: You can start perusing the stacks during Phase 2, albeit with restrictions, which apparently have not yet been released.

- At the start of Phase 2, health care providers can incrementally resume in-person elective, non-urgent procedures and services, including routine office visits, dental visits, and vision care, as long as they comply with public health and safety standards. All other in-person medical, behavioral health, dental, and vision services may also resume on Monday, except for elective cosmetic procedures and in-person day programs, which will be included in Phase 3.

State officials recommend to continue using telehealth services “to the greatest extent possible, whenever feasible and appropriate.”

Limited reopening of visitation will also begin, but will be subject to infection control protocol and social distancing requirements, including wearing face coverings. “Given the diversity of facilities and programs, there are specific timetables for visitation, and congregate care programs will be reaching out to families with specific details on scheduling visits,” a statement from Baker’s office said Saturday.


- Car dealers: Customers can begin browsing showroom with restrictions.

- Home installations and renovations: Non-construction related activities can resume under Phase 2, such as the installation of carpets, home theaters, and security systems.

- Driving schools: Although driver’s education organizations are currently allowed to offer instruction online, Phase 2 means behind-the-wheel training or the observation of another student driver can resume.

- Photography, window washers, career coaching, and other personal services that don’t require close personal contact can reopen in Phase 2.

- Massage therapy, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and electrolysis studios can reopen under the second phase, but “not at the outset of Phase 2.” More information was not immediately available.

- Personal training for individuals or no more than two people from the same household can resume under Phase 2, but again, “not at the outset of Phase 2.”

- Flight schools can reopen under Phase 2.

- Non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education, and life skills can reopen to youths under 18 years of age, in groups of fewer than 10, under Phase 2; they can reopen to all ages in Phase 3.

- Funeral homes can reopen under Phase 2, as long as they are under a 40 percent capacity limit. Only one service will be allowed at a time in the facility.

- Warehouses and distribution centers can reopen under Phase 2.

- Golf facilities, including outdoor driving ranges, can reopen under Phase 2.

- Professional sports practice and training programs can resume under Phase 2.

- Outdoor recreational facilities such as pools, playgrounds, spray decks, mini golf, go karts, batting cages, and climbing walls can reopen under Phase 2.

- Outdoor historical spaces and sites can reopen.

- Occupation schools can reopen for the limited purposes of permitting students to complete a degree, program, or prerequisite for employment, or other similar requirement for completion.

- Professional sports practices, although no games or public admissions will be allowed.

Phase 2: Step 2 (June 22)

- Indoor dining at restaurants.

- Close-contact personal services, with restrictions, including:

  • hair removal services; including laser services, depilatory salons, waxing services, threading, and electrolysis services
  • massage, body treatments, eastern treatment, energy therapies and other body work therapies;
  • skin care services; including peels, facials, serums, Botox and filler
  • nail care services; including nail salons
  • other hair services; including hair replacement services, scalp treating services
  • makeup salons;
  • makeup application services;
  • personal trainers; provided that in Phase 2 any indoor personal training service is limited to appointment-only training with only one customer (or two from the same household) allowed in the facility at a time;

-- Retail dressing rooms, by appointment only;

-- Offices, at 50 percent capacity

Phase 3: Vigilant (June 29 at the earliest)

- Casino gaming floors can open, while their theaters and arenas can reopen sometime in either Phase 3 or 4, according to state guidance.

- Horse racing tracks and simulcast facilities can resume — without spectators.

- Fitness centers and health clubs can open, except for saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms. Parts of fitness businesses that can reopen include:

  • cardio/weight rooms/locker rooms/inside facilities
  • fitness studios (yoga, barre, cross-fit, spin classes, general fitness studios)
  • locker rooms/shower rooms
  • indoor common areas
  • indoor swimming pools
  • indoor racquet courts and gymnasiums

- Movie theaters can open at “moderate” capacity under Phase 3, though specifics have not yet been released on what that means. They can reopen under Phase 4 at a “large” capacity.

- Museums and aquariums can reopen under Phase 3.

- Indoor historic spaces and sites can reopen.

- Theaters and performance venues, such as concert halls, of “moderate” capacity — both indoor and outdoor — can open under Phase 3, though specifics were not provided on what such a capacity would look like. Large performance venues will open in Phase 4.

- Weddings, events, and large gatherings of “moderate” capacity can be held in parks, reservations, and open spaces under Phase 3.

- Indoor recreational and athletic facilities for general use — not limited to youth programs — can reopen under Phase 3.

- Other indoor recreation such as batting cages, driving ranges, go karts, bowling alleys, arcades, laser tag, roller skating rinks, trampolines, and rock-climbing can reopen under Phase 3.

- Sightseeing and other organized tours, such as bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, and whale watching, can resume.

- Fishing and hunting tournaments and other amateur or professional derbies can be held under Phase 3.

- Motion picture, television, and streaming production can begin under Phase 3.

- Health care: Elective cosmetic procedures and in-person day programs can resume under Phase 3.

Phase 4: New Normal (July 20 at the earliest)

- Street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals can be held.

- Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events can be held.

- Dance clubs, nightclubs, and bars that can’t reopen under restaurant guidelines can resume operations.

- Saunas, hot-tubs, and steam rooms at health clubs, gyms, and other facilities can reopen.

- Amusement parks, theme parks, and both indoor and outdoor water parks can reopen.

Previous Globe reporting was used in this story.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss