May 11 2020

Gov. Baker Says Some ‘Non-Essential’ Businesses Could Start Opening May 18

By: Rich Hosford

It is possible that some businesses listed as non-essential that have been closed since Gov. Charlie Baker’s order on March 23 may be able to reopen later this month if positive trends in the COVID-19 response continue. 


Gov. Baker said on Monday that the state is looking to start a 4-phased approach to reopening that could begin on May 18. 


“We’re anxious to try to get everybody back up and going as soon as it makes sense,” the governor said. “The goal of the reopening plan is to methodically allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, protecting public health and limiting a possible resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.”


There were no specifics of what types of businesses will be allowed to open in the first phase of the program. Those details are expected to come on May 18 when the Reopening Advisory Board delivers its report. 


“In the first phase you should probably start with the things that don’t have a lot of direct contact with customers, or things where, if there is direct contact for customers, it’s the kind of direct contact you believe you could really carefully manage,” said Baker.


The first phrase has been named “Start.” The subsequent three phases are being called “Cautious,” “Vigilant” and “New Normal. When each phase will begin will depend on how well COVID-19 outbreaks are being handled in the state. 


"The goal is to begin this process around May 18, but it will be gradual and facts on the grounds will determine if we actually hit that goal," Gov. Baker said.


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