BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced that Massachusetts will advance to step 1 of phase 4 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22.
The administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy with public-health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. This includes drops in average daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The administration also replaced the Massachusetts travel order originally issued in July 2020 with a travel advisory, also effective March 22.
Step 1 of phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan will open 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. Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks, as well as entertainment venues, will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health.
Also effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.
Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and certain other events, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols.
The new travel advisory will urge all people entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.
The advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:
• Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours;
• Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts;
• Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work; and
• Travelers who are fully vaccinated (having received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms).
Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.