On May 11, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced a four-phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The phased reopening is based on public health guidance, and is intended to allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while aiming to protect public health and limit a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.

Phase One, the “Start” Phase, will allow industries with little face-to-face interactions to resume operations with severe restrictions. Phase Two, the “Cautious” Phase, will allow industries with more face-to-face interactions to resume operations, but with significant restrictions such as capacity limits. Phase Three, the “Vigilant” Phase, will allow for a loosening of some restrictions and conditions contained in the first two phases, if public health data is trending in the right direction. Phase Four, the “New Normal” Phase, enables resumption of activities under the “new normal” framework, assuming the development of appropriate therapy treatments and/or vaccines.

The prospective length of each phase is currently unclear, as progression to the next phase is dependent on satisfying public health metrics. To the extent those metrics fall below certain thresholds, it could result in a reversion to a prior phase.

Read the full GT Alert, “Massachusetts Announces Four-Phase Reopening Approach and Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.”