BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Baker is planning to sign an executive order on Monday, which will allow the state's professional sports teams to start practicing at their facilities, and restaurants to begin preparing for outdoor service.
At a press conference on Friday, Gov. Baker said the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, positive test rates, and hospitalization rates have been declining since the start of the month, and that needs to continue before Phase Two can begin.
"We really can't take one step forward and then two steps back," Baker said. "Our public health experts will continue to carefully monitor the data between the 1st and the 6th of June, in order to determine when exactly Phase Two should start."
Baker announced he would be issuing an executive order on Monday, which will "designate a more detailed list of sectors that fall into each Phase."
The order will allow Phase Two business to immediately bring back employees to prepare for reopening, including hotels, restaurants and cafes, with restrictions. However, Baker urged employers to "only bring back those employees that they need."
The executive order will also allow the Patriots, the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Bruins, and the Revolution to begin practicing at their facilities, in compliance with the health and safety rules that all the leagues are developing.
While sports facilities will still be closed to the public, Baker said the leagues are working hard to host games again.
"I know we're still not at the point where we'll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet," Baker said, "I think we all hope for that at some point. Opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner."
Lt. Gov Karyn Polito detailed some of the new industry-specific guidance that have been issued for restaurants and lodgings, including hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term rentals, which can reopen when the public health data dictates Phase Two can begin.
"These workplace specific safety standards are organized around four distinct categories," Polito said, "Social distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting."
The Baker Administration said it is releasing the details of the industry-specific reopening guidance before the start of Phase Two, in order to give those businesses time to prepare their operations.
Guidance for restaurants includes:
- Outdoor dining will begin at the start of Phase Two (and is encouraged throughout reopening for better ventilation and social distancing)
- Indoor dining will begin later within Phase Two, subject to public health data
- Tables must be 6 feet apart
- Maximum 6 people per party
- Customers may not be seated at bars, but bar areas may be reconstituted for table-seating
- Protocols will be in place to keep utensils and menus cleaner
- Tables will not be pre-set with plates, utensils, or condiments
- Workers must wear a face covering as they move around the restaurant
- Customers must wear a face coverings as they enter, exit, and whenever they move about the restaurant
- Reservations or call-ahead-seating is recommended
- Contactless payment, mobile ordering, or text-on-arrival seating are encouraged
- CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines must be followed
Guidance for lodgings includes:
- Event spaces like ballrooms and meeting rooms are to remain closed
- On-site restaurants, pools, gyms, spas, and other amenities at lodging sites may operate, only as these categories are authorized to operate in accordance with our phased reopening plan.
- Lodging operators must inform guests of the Commonwealth's policy urging travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the state.
- Social distancing protocols
- Cleaning and hygiene protocols
- Guidance to limit and streamline staffing operations
- Enhanced sanitization protocols between guest visits
If a lodging guest is identified as having COVID-19, their room may only be returned to service after undergoing an enhanced sanitization protocol in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Read more on the Baker Administration's industry-specific reopening guidance here.
(Photo: Getty Images)