BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Saturday that Phase Two of the state’s reopening process will begin on Monday, June 8. Restaurants, child care, retail stores, outdoor pools, playgrounds, mini-golf, funeral homes, and summer camps are able to open with restrictions during Phase Two.
“The start of Phase Two is a bright spot for our Commonwealth. It marks progress and will hopefully breathe new life into our economy for more sectors like retail, restaurants, and lodging,” Baker said.
On Monday, Baker signed an executive order allowing Phase Two businesses to open their establishments enough to begin preparing for their reopening to the public.
Strict restrictions will have businesses looking different as they reopen and the state slowly transitions to a new normal. Similar to Phase One, these businesses will have to create a COVID-19 control plan and self-certification.
Restaurants can open for outdoor dining starting Monday. Tables must be six feet apart and no more than six people will be permitted at a table.
Beer gardens, wineries, and distilleries that serve food can open under similar guidance.
Later on in Phase 2, restaurants will be able to open indoor seating.
Retail businesses can open their doors to customers as long they follow safety requirements. Stores will be required to monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy to either 8 persons — including staff — per 1,000 square feet of accessible, indoor space, or 40% of the retail store’s maximum permitted occupancy, whichever is greater.
Grocery stores and pharmacies must provide at least one hour of dedicated time for adults 60 or older.
Malls can also operate at 40 percent occupancy.
“I just ask that you do what you can, we’ve asked a lot of you, to support your local community and to support your businesses. Our Commonwealth is made up of terrific cities and towns, they’re vibrant, they’re beautiful, they’re our homes. Our main streets and downtowns look very different in these past couple of months. But as we reopen and we restart our economy, it is important that we continue to build strong communities, and buying local, support local, visit local are all things that we can incorporate into our new activities in the upcoming weeks and months,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE
More preventive health care services and elective surgeries can also start up again in Phase Two.
“Our health care providers, our hospitals and doctors have pushed off annual exams and procedures like mammograms, colonoscopies, and heart screenings, due to COVID-19. These important medical procedures are green-lighted in Phase Two. Our health care providers have done an incredible job of managing us through COVID-19. And they can safely and effectively manage other health care needs, and we urge our medical providers to reach out to your patients, particularly those with pre-existing conditions or vulnerable circumstances and schedule those appointments,” said Baker.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders added, “We continue to emphasize the importance and utility of telehealth to the greatest extent possible, as appropriate and feasible. Health care providers should expand in-person services cautiously using clinical judgment to prioritize urgent services, high-risk patients, chronic disease management and preventive care prioritization criteria should promote equitable access to care, particularly for vulnerable populations, hospitals, continue to be required to meet the requirement of having at least 20% inpatient capacity available.
HOSPITAL/LONG TERM CARE FACILITY VISITATION
Starting on June 10, hospitals can allow one visitor at a time per patient. Patients in an ambulance will also be allowed to have one person accompany.
Visitation at the state’s Soldiers Home will start allowing limited outdoor visitation on June 15 as long as infection rates remain stable.
Outdoor visitation at adult residential programs and group homes can start up on June 10 and children in youth residential programs can resume outdoor visitation on or before June 30.
All children will be subject to health screenings, centers must clean before, during and after programs, staff must wear face coverings and work the same shift. Group sizes will be limited to 10 children.
For all the details on what is reopening during Phase Two, visit mass.gov.
Each reopening phase in Massachusetts will last a minimum of three weeks. As of Friday, Massachusetts had reported 98,796 confirmed coronavirus cases.
“I think the phased approach has demonstrated that is the appropriate way to go because we’ve continued to see positive developments with respect to the key measures that we laid out at the start of this process,” Baker said.
According to the state, the seven-day average fore positive COVID-19 test rate is down 82% since mid-April and the number of hospitals in the surge is down 76%.
Other important Phase Two openings include distribution centers, outdoor recreation facilities, driving and flight schools, and libraries. Personal services that don’t require contact, such as photography, can open. Services that do require close contact, such as massage therapy and nail salons, must wait until later in Phase Two.
Guidance for close contact services and other sectors that haven’t previously been addressed were sent out Saturday.
Professional sports practices and training programs can also start in Phase Two. The Boston Bruins already announced they hoped to get back on the ice Monday, as the NHL moves into it’s own Phase Two of restarting the league.
Limited personal training can begin in Phase Two.