Massachusetts Reopening Plan Moves to Phase IV on Monday
Governor Charlie Bake announced Thursday that Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22nd. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth's economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. According to Baker, this includes drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations.
The Administration has also replaced the Massachusetts Travel Order originally issued in July 2020 with a Travel Advisory, effective March 22nd.
Effective on Monday, communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, large capacity sports and entertainment venues including indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health.
Also on Monday, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people. Dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed.
The Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory on Monday as well. The advisory will urge people entering Massachusetts, including returning residents to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.
The advisory does not apply to anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours; travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts; workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions while they are commuting to or from or while at work; and travelers who are fully vaccinated.
Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.