Governor Charlie Baker gave the green light Saturday for many kinds of businesses to reopen starting Monday, as the state moves into Phase 2 of a planned four-stage process to gradually get residents back to work and families out of the house again.
Here are some key takeaways.
Retail storefronts and those in shopping malls can open for browsing — with requirements for masks and social distancing. No more than eight people, including employees, will be allowed for every 1,000 square feet of indoor space, or 40 percent of a store’s maximum occupancy.
For those shopping for makeup and clothes: There can be no “sampling or application of personal goods (i.e., makeup, perfume, lotion),” and fitting rooms for trying on clothes will be closed.
Restaurants — outdoor dining only
Restaurants initially will only be allowed to offer outdoor dining for now. Tables must be 6 feet apart or be separated by walls or 6-foot-high Plexiglass dividers. Parties will be capped at six, and diners won’t be allowed to sit at the bar. Printed menus must be disposed of after each use, and tables must be sanitized between seatings.
Restaurant employees will need to wear masks, as will patrons walking the floors. But diners don’t need to wear their face covering while seated.
Restaurants also should get diners’ contact information, and 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 to be cleaned and disinfected.
Beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries have gotten the go-ahead to open if they are “providing seated food service under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities.”
Day camps and child care facilities — but not overnight camps — will be allowed to reopen after meeting requirements for keeping children and staff safe.
Children and staff must have their temperatures checked every day before they enter. Parents will also have to answer a series of questions about the health of the child and 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 encouraged to wear masks whenever 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. The requirements cover all programs serving children and youths, including recreational summer programs, camps, home-based child care, and center-based child care.
Preventive health care and patient visits
The state will allow health care providers to incrementally resume elective procedures and services, including routine office visits. Beginning June 10, hospital patients will be allowed visitors, one at a time, and patients can bring a companion to any ambulatory care appointment.
Residents of nursing homes, group homes, and children’s facilities will also allow outdoor visits, on a staggered calendar. The state’s Soldiers’ Homes in Holyoke and Chelsea will begin allowing outdoor visits on June 15, as long as infection rates remain stable. Both facilities were hit hard by COVID.
Limited organized youth and adult amateur sports programs and activities will be allowed to resume. Adults can only play outdoors; supervised youth programs and activities can be held indoors.
Professional sports practice and training programs also can resume under Phase 2, though no games can yet be played.
Hotels, motels, inns, and other short-term lodgings that were restricted to serving essential workers and vulnerable populations will be allowed to reopen to other guests.
Within guest rooms and suites, 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.
Car dealerships, playgrounds, driving ranges, flight schools, and funeral homes can open Monday.
Minor, nonconstruction-related home improvements also can resume, including the installation of carpets, home theaters, and security systems.