This page, Reopening Massachusetts, is part of

Reopening Massachusetts

The Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.

CURRENT STATE: Phase IV, Step 1 (details)

Additional guidance changes will go into effect on May 10 and May 29, subject to public health and vaccination data. (details)

Table of Contents

Important information about Reopening Massachusetts

Effective on March 22: Massachusetts advanced to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22. This opened 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. Gathering limits for event venues and in public settings are currently 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people. (additional details)

Effective on April 30Face Coverings Order will be relaxed for some outdoor settings.

Effective on May 10, Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries:

  • Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open as part of Phase 4, Step 1 at 12% will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%. 
  • The Commonwealth will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries including amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks that will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
  • Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
  • Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.
  • Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.

Effective on May 29, Subject to public health and vaccination data:

  • Gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.
  • Additional Phase 4, Step 2 industries will be permitted to open including

    • Street festivals, parades and agricultural festivals, at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans to the local board of health.

    • Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors.

  • The restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.

Effective on August 1: Subject to public health and vaccination data, remaining industries will be permitted to open including dance clubs, and nightclubs, saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs and other facilities, indoor water parks and ball pits. All industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries, with businesses encouraged to continue following best practices. The gathering limit will be rescinded. Depending on vaccine distribution and public health data, the Administration may consider re-evaluating the August 1 date.

Frequently Requested Protocols

View all sector-specific protocols. 

General business guidance

Information to help businesses meet the self-certification requirement to reopen. All businesses must meet these requirements before reopening. 

  • COVID-19 control plan template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification
  • Compliance attestation poster – Poster that businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
  • Employer and Worker posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting

General business guidance documents and translations [اللغة العربية , Español, 中文(简体字), 中文(正體字), Kreyòl ayisyen, ગુજરાતી, ខ្មែរ, 한국어, Português, Tiếng Việt]

Additional reopening guidance

News and press release archive

Additional Resources