BOSTON (CBS) — Many businesses in Massachusetts are eager to learn the state’s reopening plan after being closed for months during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Baker is expected to release details Monday.
“I am looking for clear guidelines, really clear guidelines. If you are a retail shop and you have under 2,000 feet, you’re allowed to have this many people in at a time,” said Susan Stein, owner of Fire Opal in Brookline.
According to a letter sent from the Massachusetts Municipal Association to the state’s mayors, some of the industries that could re-open Monday include manufacturing facilities, construction sites, and places of worship. The letter said the Baker administration was still finalizing the details this weekend.
Opening places of worship will have to stay at 40% capacity, attendees will have to reserve a spot online, anyone older than five must wear a mask, and anyone not in the same family must stand six feet apart, the letter also said.
The letter released by @MassMunicipal details the mandatory guidelines for places of worship:
• 40% capacity
• People who don’t live together have to stand 6 ft apart
• People 5 and older have to wear a mask
• Attendees should reserve a spot online to keep capacity #WBZ
— Tiffany Chan (@TiffanyChanWBZ) May 18, 2020
Stein is already working on preparations. “We’re going to have plexi along our counters where we have our jewelry, where we can’t do six feet of distance. There’s going to be a pass-through. We’ll show pieces, we’ll clean those pieces after people have touched them,” she said. “We’re going to have a dispenser for sanitizing.”
The governor has previously said the state’s reopening will occur in four phases: “start, cautious, vigilant” and “new normal.”
“This needs to be done carefully. And I’m quite sure that some folks are going to say it’s too fast and so folks are going to say it’s not fast enough,” Baker said in a press conference last week. “We want to do it in a way that’s cautious enough so that we actually move forward and have the ability to sustain it.”
The first industries to open will be those already set up with safe and limited face-to-face interaction.
Baker also said the progression of phases is contingent upon seeing a decline in key coronavirus metrics.
“We need to start making some money, we have bills like everybody else,” Stein said.