FOXBORO (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie said Wednesday that despite positive coronavirus trends in recent days, non-essential businesses in the state will not be allowed to reopen prior to the targeted date of May 18.
Baker made the remarks outside Gillette Stadium following a Massachusetts State Police swearing in ceremony.
A mandatory face mask order went into effect for Massachusetts starting Wednesday.
“Our goal starting on May 18 is to begin reopening certain types of businesses in a limited fashion, where it can be done more safely than under normal operations. But this phased in process can’t begin until we see sustained downward trends in many of the data elements that we talk about every day,” said Baker.
Baker noted that face coverings will be expected at all times in grocery stores, retail stores, and on public transportation.
Residents are asked not to wear medical grade masks in order to save those for healthcare workers, first responders, emergency management personnel, and public safety workers
“Since we issued the order, we have heard time and time again from people who work in the public transportation system, people who work in pharmacies, people who work in grocery stores, and people who face customers as essential businesses during this pandemic, have thanked us time and time again for putting mechanisms in place to ensure the safety not just of their customers, but also themselves and their families,” said Baker.
Baker has faced growing questions from the golf industry in recent days. Vermont and New Hampshire announced plans to reopen in the near future, and Wednesday afternoon Maryland’s governor said courses can welcome golfers back Thursday morning.
As a result, Massachusetts is now the only state where it is not clear when golfers can return to courses.
The governor was asked specifically about golf during his Wednesday press briefing after recent comments from a course owner who said she planned to open despite the order.
“Let’s hope and anticipate that people don’t start breaking the law. That would be a bad thing,” said Baker.
“We gave them [cities and towns] the ability, up to a certain level, to issue both warnings and fines. It’s my expectation that that won’t be necessary.”