Monday, May 18, 2020

A Reopening Message from Councilor Flynn

Today, Governor Baker announced the plan to reopen the Massachusetts economy will be in phases, with all businesses required to follow guidance on physical distancing, as well as mandatory standards on workplace safety and sector-specific protocols. 

A Safer At Home Advisory is in place asking residents to continue to stay at home if possible, and only leave home for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities. Face covering is still REQUIRED when residents cannot maintain six feet of physical distance in public. All business activities when they reopen must follow guidance on physical distancing, hygiene protocols to prevent COVID-19, and have plans in place for staffing and operations in case employees get sick. Moreover, the Governor has issued sector-specific protocols and best practices for businesses to reopen safely. More information can be found here.

There will be four phases to the Governor’s reopening plan, and the first phase will start today, May 18th, with certain businesses being allowed to resume with restrictions, some capacity limitations, and staggered starts. In order to reopen, businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses will have to fill out a COVID-19 control plan template, sign a poster  attesting that they have completed a COVID-19 control plan and post it in an area within the business premises that is visible to employees and visitors, as well as post signs and posters describing the rules for maintaining physical distancing, hygiene protocols, cleaning, and disinfecting.

On May 18th, the following businesses are eligible to start:

  • Essential businesses stay open and continue to operate.
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction. However, Boston will reopen its construction sites in phases, and will expand permitted construction incrementally. More information is here:
  • Worship
  • Hospitals and community health centers who attest to specific public health/safety standard can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients

On May 25th, the following businesses are eligible to start:

Laboratory and Life Sciences Facilities
  • Offices, excluding those in the City of Boston.  Work from home strongly encouraged, and businesses should restrict workforce presence to <25% maximum occupancy
  • Hair salons and barbershops by appointment only
  • Pet grooming by appointment only (curbside pet drop- off and pick-up)
  • Car washes exterior car washing allowed
  • Recreation and outdoor with guidelines
  • Other health care providers who attest to specific public health/safety standards can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients
  • Retail remote fulfillment and curbside pickup
On June 1st, the following is eligible to reopen:
  • Offices in the City of Boston, following applicable guidelines for the rest of the Commonwealth
Even though we are beginning to reopen our economy, this pandemic is still not over unfortunatelyWe should all still continue to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering when we go outside, and do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. I urge everyone to adhere to the guidelines of our public health officials so that we can prevent a surge to our hospitals and protect our frontline healthcare personnel, our essential service workers, our families, our neighbors and each other from this virus. 
The detailed reopening plan, as well as the required forms and guidance can be found here. I hope this information is helpful.

Thank you and stay safe,

Councilor Ed Flynn
District 2
Office: 617-635-3203

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