Four-Phase Approach to Reopening Massachusetts

The goal of this phased reopening plan is to methodically allow businesses, services, and activities to resume, while avoiding a resurgence of COVID-19 that could overwhelm our healthcare system and erase the progress we’ve made so far.

  • Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase
  • If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase
  • The Commonwealth will partner with industries to draft Sector-Specific Protocols in advance of future phases (example: restaurant specific protocols will be drafted in advance of Phase 2)
  • If we all work together to defeat COVID-19, we can proceed through each phase


The Baker-Polito Administration's data-driven approach to reopening the economy used a framework that considered the public health risk and the economic benefit of reopening each of the closed sectors of our economy. In addition to this framework, the Baker-Polito Administration looked to what other states are doing, including our immediate neighbors and those that were similarly impacted by COVID-19.

Four-Phase Framework

Phased approach and reopening summary plan

Phased approach and reopening summary plan (I)
Phased approach and reopening summary plan (II)
Phased approach and reopening summary plan (III)

Essential Businesses and Activities

​​​​​​On March 23rd, Governor Baker ordered that only essential services and businesses could remain open, in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These businesses and services will continue to operate during the phased reopening of non-essential businesses, and must comply with safety standards, and must self-certify by May 25, 2020.