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Manufacturing, construction and houses of worship open amid coronavirus pandemic


Some sectors of the Massachusetts economy can start to reopen today after manufacturing and construction businesses deemed non-essential were cleared to resume operations with restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, state officials said on Monday.

“Today, as we start the phased return to our new normal, we are going to ask people once again to rise to the occasion as we continue to fight this virus,” Gov. Charlie Baker said during comments at the State House on the state’s reopening plans.

Houses of worship can also reopen today with 40% maximum capacity. The state’s guidelines also encourage outdoor services.

The Phase 1 reopening of the Bay State will continue on May 25 with restrictions eased on office spaces, lab spaces, hair salons, barbershops, car washes, pet grooming, and curbside pick-up for retail stores.

“If we don’t keep up the fight and don’t do the things that we all know we have to do and know we can do, we run the risk of creating a second spike,” Baker said.

Office spaces will have a 25% maximum capacity during Phase 1, and work from home will be strongly encouraged. Hair salons and barbershops will be appointment-only. Pet grooming will be appointment-only, with curbside pet drop-off and pick-up.

Also on May 25, recreation facilities can open up with guidelines, including beaches, parks, drive-in theaters, some athletic fields and courts, most fishing, hunting and boating, and outdoor gardens, zoos and reserves.

On June 1, offices in Boston will be open with 25% maximum capacity.

Phase 1 will last for a minimum of three weeks, and could last longer before moving on to Phase 2. It all depends on public health data trends, state officials said.

“Each phase will last at least three weeks, but may last longer if the public health data doesn’t support moving forward,” the governor said.

Phase 2 will include reopening restaurants, retail and lodging. Additional personal services, including nail salons and day spas, will be part of Phase 2.

Less urgent medical procedures, including elective surgeries and routine dental cleanings, will be in Phase 2.

Phase 2 will also include opening campgrounds, playgrounds and spray decks, public and community pools, all athletic fields and courts with guidelines, and youth sports in limited fashion.



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