To many, Memorial Day brings the unofficial start of summer. It also brings Day 1 of the Massachusetts reopening plan.

It’s been a long couple of months for nonessential businesses. Nine weeks have gone by since Governor Baker ordered all nonessential businesses to close in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, beginning today, many retailers are beginning to offer curbside pickups to shoppers. Barbershops, pet grooming and hair salons are also opening their doors, under pretty tight restrictions.

In addition to practicing social distancing, many businesses require a reservation and have limited services available. It’s also not certain how beneficial curbside pick-ups will be for certain stores that rely so heavily on experience, for example, furniture or clothing.

Today also marks a shift from a stay-at-home to a safer-at-home advisory. The difference being that residents are now able to leave the house for health care, worship, work, shopping, and outdoor activities that you can safely social distance during.

The safer-at-home advisory isn’t much different than stay-at-home, but Governor Baker stated that it does “reflect that we are pursuing a phased reopening strategy.”

The safer-at-home advisory still does require the following:

  • Face coverings when you can not maintain six feet of distance from others
  • Employees encouraged to work-from-home if possible
  • Gatherings less than ten people
  • Anyone traveling to the state will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks
  • Hotels and short-term rentals will continue to be offered to essential workers, only

After three weeks of this, the earliest Massachusetts could move into Phase Two is on June 8th. However, if at the end of these three weeks the health data is not trending positively, we could continue in Phase One.