Summer camps and child care can reopen in Phase 2 of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday as he peeled back another layer of his approach to restarting the state’s shattered economy.
“Today, I signed an executive order to clarify which businesses and sectors fall into Phase 2,” Baker said.
Phase 2 could begin as early as June 8 — provided coronavirus data continues to trend downward over the next week — but the long-awaited reopening of child care programs many see as critical to reopening alongside businesses, won’t happen until later in the month at the earliest.
Baker’s order will allow day-cares and camps to reopen after submitting safety and disinfection plans to he Department of Early Education and Care — which they can do beginning Monday.
The documents must include plans for daily health screenings and ways to identify children and staff who become sick or are exposed to the coronavirus. Group sizes will be restricted to 12 individuals, including staff, with a maximum of 10 children, and children must remain with the same group each day and at all times while in care.
Recreational camps and municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps may open during Phase 3. Residential camps and other overnight stays will not be allowed until Phase 3, according to the governor’s June 1 order.
Baker’s order also further detailed which businesses fit into phases 2, 3 and 4 of his reopening plan and provided greater detail as to what service might be allowed — welcome news to the small business community, which has been struggling to make ends meet under 10 weeks of shutdowns in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said in a statement consumers “should be assured that they can shop locally safely.”
“As we move forward to both safe shopping and economic growth, we urge our consumers to remember that they should shop like jobs depend on it, because they do,” Hurst said.
“It is important to remember that the consumer represents 70% of the economy, and how we choose to spend our dollars in the months to come will truly determine the futures of countless small businesses,” Hurst said in a statement.
Hurst noted that the essential sellers including grocers, pharmacies and hardware stores have shown over the past three months how to protect and serve customers, and those lessons learned will now apply to all retail sectors as additional stores reopen.