BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) -- The path forward to reopening Massachusetts is clearer now.
The state’s reopening advisory board released the details into their phased approach on Monday and the governor downgraded the ‘stay-at-home’ advisory.
We are now in Phase 1 and construction and manufacturing businesses have been given the okay to reopen today, so long as they follow sector-specific guidelines.
However, for the average consumer, the bigger changes are coming next Monday.
If you build or manufacture goods, your business is now allowed to reopen with social distancing restrictions, of course.
Governor Charlie Baker said we have reached the point in the COVID-19 pandemic where we can enter Phase 1 of the reopening plan.
“Positive case rates are moving in the right direction and hospitalizations are down,” Baker explained.
Starting on May 25 - next Monday - the second grouping of Phase 1 businesses can reopen, including office space, hair salons by appointment-only, pet grooming, and car washes.
All of these businesses will have restrictions
“We are permitting office space to reopen at 25 percent of its capacity,” Baker noted.
According to the report. each phase will last three weeks at a minimum and is measured by these six public health criteria.
Here’s where Massachusetts falls now. The report states each must be either in a “positive trend” like testing capacity or “in progress” like the hospitalization rate.
In Phase 2, restaurants and retail are among the businesses that can reopen, again with sector-specific restrictions they must follow, including sanitation and capacity reductions.
“Guidance asks people to change behaviors and it changes the way some of our favorite places look and feel,” Baker added.
Phase 3 will allow gyms, casinos, and museums to reopen.
Phase 4 means large venues and nightclubs can resume operation as well.
“This effort will hinge primarily on personal responsibility,” Baker said.
The governor announced that the ‘stay-at-home’ advisory is being shifted to a ‘safer-at-home’ plan, where people are asked to still limit in person interaction as much as possible, and those who are COVID susceptible are cautioned to stay at home.
This, along with the mask order, are designed to help slow the spread as businesses set about to preparing their facilities to welcome people back again.
“As we continue to move forward towards a new normal, we’ll continue to post the guidance for sectors opening in later phases online and in advance,” Baker explained.
Businesses must self-certify that they are following proper social distancing and cleaning guidelines, following a state-provided template.
View the full report below:
More information on the state's plan can be found here.