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Outdoor Dining on Existing Patios and Retail Stores Among Phase II Reopenings

Outdoor dining on existing patios, retail stores, childcare facilities and hotels are some of the businesses allowed to reopen as Phase II of Massachusett’s reopening plan begins June 8th. City officials emailed restaurant owners that temporary extended sidewalks/street tables are still under consideration, but have not provided additional guidance. The move is sure to be welcomed by restaurant owners that have been restricted to takeout since March 10th when the state of emergency was declared.

The State has established two ‘steps’ in Phase II. Step 1 starts on June 8th. A firm date for Step 2, which would include indoor dining, has not been established as it depends on the region’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the region, including only 5 new reported cases in the downtown neighborhoods last week. Officials have told business owners that if the recovery metrics continue on track, Step 2 could begin during the last week of June.

This patron brought his own table.

The following businesses will be eligible to reopen in Step One of Phase II on June 8th, with contingencies: 

  • Restaurants (outdoor table service only); 
  • Retail stores (with limit of 8 people per 1000 sq. ft.); 
  • Childcare facilities and day camps (with limitations);
  • Hotels and other lodgings (no events, functions or meetings); 
  • Warehouses and distribution centers; 
  • Personal services without close physical contact, such as home cleaning, photography, window washing, career coaching and education tutoring; 
  • Post-secondary, higher education, vocational-tech and occupation schools for the purpose of completing graduation requirements; 
  • Youth and adult amateur sports (with limitations);
  • Outdoor recreation facilities; 
  • Professional sports practices (no games or public admissions); 
  • Non-athletic youth instructional classes in arts, education or life skills (so long as they are conducted in groups of less than 10); 
  • Driving and flight schools; 
  • Outdoor historical spaces (no functions, gatherings or guided tours); 
  • And funeral homes (with occupancy limits). 

The following businesses will be eligible reopen in Step Two of Phase II at a later date to be determined: 

  • Indoor table service at restaurants; 
  • Close-contact personal services (with restrictions), including:  
  • Hair removal and replacement;
  • Nail care;
  • Skin care;
  • Massage therapy;
  • Makeup salons and makeup application services;
  • Tanning salons;
  • Tattoo, piercing, and body-art services;
  • Personal training (with restrictions) 

For restaurants, tables must be 6 feet apart or be separated plexiglass dividers. Parties can be seated up to 6 people and diners won’t be allowed to sit at the bar. Menus must be disposable after use and tables sanitized. Employees will wear masks, but diners don’t need to wear masks when seated. Beer gardens are also allowed to reopen as part of Phase II.

Some businesses remain boarded up.

Health care providers may also incrementally resume in-person elective, non-urgent procedures and services, including routine office visits, dental visits, and vision care, subject to compliance with public health and safety standards. All other in-person medical, behavioral health, dental and vision services may also resume on June 8th, except for elective cosmetic procedures and in-person day programs, which will be included in Phase III. Telehealth consultations must continue to be utilized and prioritized to the greatest extent possible, whenever feasible and appropriate. The limited reopening of visitation will also begin, and all visitation is subject to infection-control protocol, social distancing, and face coverings.