Baker to announce how Massachusetts will begin its reopening process

BOSTON (WHDH) - After roughly two months of non-essential business closures in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker is set to announce Monday how the state will begin its reopening process.

Baker has remained tight-lipped about his reopening plan while the stay-at-home advisory neared its Monday expiration date.

State Rep. Shawn Dooley posted on his Facebook page Sunday that phase one of the governor’s plan would at least include construction work, manufacturing, and churches.

The president of the Great Boston Chamber of Commerce, Jim Rooney, says they are anxious to hear from the state which industries and businesses will be included in each phase.

“I expect that this week we won’t see a lot of new businesses added to the list of those that can open on Tuesday,” he said. “He labeled this as the start and the second phase as the cautious. I think in the cautious phases is when we’ll begin to see more and more businesses roll open.”

Baker laid out last week that the state’s reopening would come in four phases:

  • Phase 1 will be “Start” – limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
  • Phase 2 will be “Cautious” – additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
  • Phase 3 will be “Vigilant” – additional industries resume operations with guidance
  • Phase 4 will be the “New Normal” – development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal

This announcement came with little detail, leading to criticism.

Baker responded to this last Friday, saying, “I’m quite sure that some folks are going to say it’s too fast and some folks are going to say it’s not fast enough, and what we believe is based on data information guidance and advice from a lot of very smart people that this will represent what we consider to be a properly cautious and careful way forward.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito has been meeting online daily with the 18 other members of the state’s reopening advisory board. She says they’re drawn up a list of safety standards every business will have to follow to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Baker has a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday. You can watch this LIVE on 7NEWS and at WHDH.com.

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