By John Ayers-Mann, Christopher W. Kelleher, Daniel B. KleinRobert A. Fisher, and Ariel Cudkowicz

Seyfarth Synopsis: Massachusetts will move to the second step of Phase II of the State’s reopening plan beginning today, June 22. Updated COVID-19 guidance issued by the Baker Administration increases office occupancy limits to 50% of maximum capacity, permits indoor table service at restaurants, allows use of retail dressing rooms by appointment, and allows close contact personal service providers to resume operations with restrictions.

On Friday, June 19, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts will move to the second step of Phase II of the state’s reopening plan, beginning today, Monday, June 22. Step 2 of Phase II brings significant changes for restaurants, office spaces, and retailers, and permits more close contact personal service providers to resume operations.

Businesses with office spaces are now permitted to allow more employees to return to the office. The updated guidance increases the number of people permitted in any office space from 25% to 50% of the office’s maximum occupancy, but continues to require businesses to have their employees telework to the extent feasible.

Also in Step 2, restaurants are now permitted to resume indoor table service, but must limit their indoor service in order to ensure compliance with social distancing measures applicable to restaurants under the industry-specific guidelines.

Step 2 of Phase II also allows retailers to permit customers to use dressing rooms by appointment only. Finally, several close contact personal service providers, such as personal trainers, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, makeup salons, and hair, nail and skin care businesses, are permitted to resume operations, subject to industry-specific safety standards.

We will continue to keep you apprised of any significant developments with respect to the Commonwealth’s reopening process.