Earlier today, Governor Baker released details of the state's 4-phase reopening plan. Each phase will last 3 weeks based on health trends. Below are some important links, and a brief summary of those aspects most relevant to convenience stores and motor fuels.
Essential businesses (including c-stores and gas stations) that have already been open will have until May 25 to comply with safety standards, and non-essential businesses must have these standards in place in order to reopen. Standards will be enforced by local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Labor Standards.
All businesses open in Phase 1 must:
Effective immediately, manufacturing, construction, and houses of worship may resume operations using sector-specific protocols in addition to the mandatory safety standards for all workplaces.
Effective Monday, May 25, the following sectors may reopen with certain restrictions as part of Phase 1:
- Office spaces at 25% occupancy (except in Boston which will begin on June 1)
- Retail establishments, including adult-use cannabis (curbside and delivery only)
- Hair salons, barbershops, and pet grooming
- Car washes (click here for details)
- Some outdoor recreation areas, including zoos
- Phase 2 will include retail, restaurants, lodging, and additional services such as nail salons and spas. The Reopening Advisory Board has convened a restaurant and hospitality workgroup to develop procedures for these sectors.
- Phase 3 will include bars, casinos, gyms, museums, and other businesses with the exception of nightclubs and large venues.
- Phase 4 will be “the new normal” and includes the full resumption of activity. Phase 4 will only occur when a vaccine or other therapy for COVID-19 is available.
Overview of Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
The Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center developed new Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board. These new standards will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1, and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers during the first phase of reopening, and are applicable to all sectors and industries. The Administration is releasing these Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards early, in advance of the start of Phase 1, to give workplaces time to plan and prepare for reopening. These safety standards will be supplemented by sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices, which will provide further details and limited exceptions.
- All persons, including employees, customers, and vendors should remain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible, both inside and outside workplaces
- Establish protocols to ensure that employees can practice adequate social distancing
- Provide signage for safe social distancing
- Require face coverings or masks for all employees
- Provide hand washing capabilities throughout the workplace
- Ensure frequent hand washing by employees and adequate supplies to do so
- Provide regular sanitization of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site
Staffing and Operations
- Provide training for employees regarding the social distancing and hygiene protocols
- Employees who are displaying COVID19-like symptoms do not report to work
- Establish a plan for employees getting ill from Covid-19 at work, and a return-to-work plan
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Establish and maintain cleaning protocols specific to the business
- When an active employee is diagnosed with COVID19, cleaning and disinfecting must be performed
- Disinfection of all common surfaces must take place at intervals appropriate to said workplace
Sector Specific Safety Protocols
The Reopening Advisory Board is developing Sector Specific Safety Standards and Best Practices that will detail how particular industries should operate upon reopening, as well as provide for limited exceptions to the mandatory standards. These sector specific standards are forthcoming.
are provided to help inform employers and employees about supplies needed to return to workplaces, and connect businesses with manufacturers and distributors. In order to operate in Reopening Phase 1 and all future phases, certain supplies are required.
The Department of Public Health has updated its stay-at-home advisory to a
. Residents are advised to remain home unless they are leaving for activities permitted in Phase 1. People over age 65 and those with underlying health conditions are advised to stay home except for essential errands.