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Massachusetts Reopening

Reopen the Bay State and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by complying with safety standards

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Published August 5th, 2020

Reopening Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker announced the reopening of the State of Massachusetts on May 18 and has since advised that the state can roll back with reopening should the increase in COVID-19 cases continue. The original plan for reopening intends to have businesses resume operations, help people get back to work safely, and keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control in the Bay State.

Massachusetts and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Massachusetts is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the United States. It is currently one of the highest in confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than a hundred thousand infected among the state’s population. A stay at home advisory took effect on March 24 and all operations except essential businesses were shut down to help mitigate the further spread if COVID-19.

Travelers who are going to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14-days and that individuals who are showing COVID-19 symptoms should not travel to the Bay State. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempted from the rule.

Reopening the Bay State

According to the state’s four-phase reopening plan, the trends in public health will determine how the state will proceed with the reopening phases. Sustaining the decrease in viral transmission is vital to proceeding with the rest of the reopening stages. The government provided these guidance that organizations must follow to help keep COVID-19 under control.

Social Guidance

In line with Massachusetts’ social guidance is the Safer-at-Home advisory issued on May 18 (replacing the previous stay-at-home advisory) that provides some guidance on how the public should act during the pandemic. Here are some highlights of the advisory:

  • Everyone is required to have their face covered if the 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) social distancing cannot be maintained in public.
  • Practice frequent and proper handwashing.
  • High-risk residents and everyone over 65 years of age should continue to stay at home except when doing essential activities such as going to the grocery or taking care of medical needs.
  • Watch out for COVID-19 symptoms and stay at home when not feeling well.

Business Guidance

In order for businesses to operate, provided that they are allowed to open for the phase, Massachusetts required businesses to comply with these three prerequisites:

Protocols for Specific Sectors

In addition to the guidance that businesses are required to comply with, there are sector-specific safety standards applicable to industries in the state. The government of Massachusetts provided checklists to help guide these different sectors on what to do when preparing to reopen and how to stay in operation during the pandemic. Here are some of the checklists provided per sector:

Complying with Government-Mandated Protocols

As one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, the Bay State is working to recover from the social and economic impact of the pandemic and has put in place several mandatory safety protocols to help keep the public safe and prevent a resurgence of the disease. Having safety protocols to follow gives business owners and managers direction on how to stay operational and recover after shutting down for weeks. Following the latest checklists created based on best practices and safety standards during a pandemic also helps the public maintain safety and while being productive. iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful inspection software that features checklists based on safety standards. Feel free to review and download the checklists to help your business reopen and stay operational in Massachusetts.


Please note that these checklists, while created with the latest best practices available, provide basic information only and are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.


Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.