Massachusetts governor outlines plan to start reopening next week

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) outlined a plan on Monday for the state to begin reopening sectors of the economy forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement on the governor's website outlined a four-phase plan that will not end until a vaccine for the coronavirus has been developed and widely distributed, signaling that some of the state's restrictions could last for months.

"The goal of the phased reopening, based on public health guidance, is to methodically allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases," reads the governor's news release.

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"Certain businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases. Decisions and timing will be influenced by public health metrics for when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into concurrent phases," it continued.

Baker's plan says that some businesses will be able to open during phase one under "severe restrictions," while outlining social distancing and hygiene procedures that reopening businesses would be forced to implement. The plan has not set a date for the first phase of reopenings to begin.

"These standards are being released to give workplaces time to plan and prepare for reopening," the governor's news release continued.

Baker told reporters Monday at a press conference that timelines for moving to later phases in the plan would be released per the guidance of state health officials, ABC affiliate WCVB reported.

"None of that is going to happen overnight," the governor said of plans to reopen the entire state economy. "We'll continue to follow the metrics and public health metrics to determine when phase one's start of reopening begins and when it's safe to move to concurrent phases after that."