As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world, many states have been forced to take drastic measures to protect their citizens. Massachusetts is no exception. In an effort to safely reopen the state, Governor Charlie Baker announced a four-phase plan that began in May 2020. This plan has allowed for the reopening of manufacturing facilities, construction sites, places of worship, and other businesses.
In addition, the state has implemented a temporary pilot project to allow unprecedented access to Boston neighborhoods for food trucks. The reopening of Massachusetts has been a gradual process, with the state taking into account health metrics and vaccine availability. As of Tuesday, more than 73% of eligible Massachusetts adults had received at least one coronavirus vaccine, according to state health data. Governor Baker has also met virtually with President Biden and a bipartisan group of governors to discuss “the successes and best practices of their state COVID-19 vaccination programs”.
The four-phase approach to reopening Massachusetts was developed by a 17-member Reopening Advisory Board, co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. This board included health experts, city leaders, and members of the business community representing many facets of the Massachusetts economy. Phase I (“Commencement”) of the plan began on May 29th and allowed for the reopening of manufacturing facilities, construction sites and places of worship. Public transportation, healthcare facilities, and congregational care centers are still subject to state and federal mask orders.
This summer, we will launch a temporary pilot project to allow unprecedented access to Boston neighborhoods for food trucks. Phase 2 (“Cautious”) began in June and allowed for additional lower-risk businesses to reopen, including retailers, day care centers, restaurants (with outdoor table service only), hotels and other accommodations, personal services without close physical contact, youth and adult amateur sports, and driving and flight schools. In a major move announcing the end of pandemic-era regulations, Governor Charlie Baker said Monday that Massachusetts will lift all restrictions on businesses on Memorial Day weekend, bringing the full reopening date forward by two months. This announcement places Massachusetts on a reopening timeline similar to that of other New England states. A new bill urges people arriving in Massachusetts, including returning residents, to quarantine for 10 days if they have been out of state for 24 hours or more. So far, 3.2 million people in Massachusetts have received all required vaccine doses. You can find essential businesses that have stayed open and dates when other businesses can start reopening. Find local restaurants that remain open for takeout and delivery.
You can also add restaurants to our list. You can find virtual arts and cultural events and programs organized by groups in the greater Boston area, or add your own event to. It's a strategy that Baker said has allowed Massachusetts to avoid the “rollback of premature reopening” something that has pushed back some other states, particularly during the winter as the second wave occurred. We invite you to use our feedback platform to participate in revealing conversations about our community's issues.
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Delayed Reopening Timeline Still Puts Massachusetts Roughly One Week Behind Some Neighboring States. After months of uncertainty about when Massachusetts would fully reopen its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Charlie Baker has laid out a roadmap for reopening most parts of the state economy. With more than 4 million people having received at least one shot of vaccine in Massachusetts by May 29th 2021 - 75 percent of adults in the state - it looks like we are well on our way towards full reopening.