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Cambridge Officials Reviewing State Plan As City Finalizes Reopening Strategy

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 4 years ago.

The City of Cambridge is reviewing the plan released today by the Baker-Polito Administration for the reopening of businesses in the Commonwealth and has announced City-specific construction activity guidance. Mandating both strict social and business guidance, the state plan calls for the gradual, safe reopening of businesses in four phases. Cambridge businesses planning to reopen must adhere to all Massachusetts regulations, in addition to any additional guidance issued by the City. In the coming days, the City of Cambridge will release further information on City-specific orders that will supplement the State’s recommendations.


The Commonwealth’s plan, “Reopening Massachusetts,” details four separate phases of reopening, each phase of which will last for a minimum of three weeks. The launch of each phase will be dependent upon key public health metrics. These metrics will be regularly updated and re-evaluated to determine whether to advance reopening or if steps are needed to mitigate transmission rates before the next phase of reopening.


Although it is not mandatory to reopen, businesses that are eligible to reopen during each phase rollout must adhere to Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, as well as sector-specific protocols and best practices. The Commonwealth has and will continue to publish Sector Circulars and Checklists to help businesses adjust their operations appropriately with regard to physical distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning/disinfecting, and to ensure employee and customer safety.


Businesses that reopen must also self-certify a COVID-19 Control Plan indicating how the workplace will prevent the spread of the virus and adhere to state protocols for reopening. Self-certification documents must be kept onsite in case of inspection. Businesses are also required to make visible to patrons and employees signage attesting compliance with the business’s COVID-19 Control Plan and posters outlining mandatory safety standards for employees and for employers.


Effective today, essential businesses that have been operating, manufacturing businesses, construction sites, places of worship, and hospitals and community health centers are eligible to reopen and must demonstrate compliance with the State’s new safety standards by May 25, 2020.


The City of Cambridge will expand currently allowed construction activity in the City in four phases:

  • Phase 1, beginning May 25, will add site safety prep work for projects previously permitted by Inspectional Services (ISD) and Public Works (DPW). Forthcoming amendments to the City’s Temporary Emergency Construction Order issued on March 18 will modify the definition of essential construction to include work associated with COVID-19 restaurant modification needed to allow them to safely reopen;
  • Phase 2, beginning on June 1, will add horizontal construction, city building projects, 100% affordable housing developments, larger buildings (over 25,000 square feet) previously permitted by ISD or DPW;
  • Phase 3, tentatively beginning on June 15, will add all remaining existing construction previously permitted by ISD and DPW; and
  • Phase 4, tentatively beginning on June 29, will add new permits.Permits can be submitted and pre-reviews will occur at any time, but permits will not be formally accepted or issued until this date.

The Administration today also issued a Safer at Home Advisory. The Advisory, which replaces the Stay at Home Advisory issued March 23, 2020, recommends that individuals only leave home for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping and outdoor activities. It also encourages Seniors and residents with underlying health conditions to only leave home for essential errands.


The City of Cambridge’s Temporary Emergency Order requiring residents to wear face coverings or masks still remains in effect, as does the statewide mask order.


“As a city, we all have a critical role to play in making sure that the reopening of our economy is done responsibly and thoughtfully,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. “Patience and compliance with the Commonwealth’s regulations will be critical to ensuring a safe and smooth reopening. We are also developing Cambridge-specific guidance and will share it when it is available to further inform the reopening of Cambridge businesses and offices.”


For more information on the Massachusetts reopening plan and to access state resources, please visit - https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts


For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

Page was posted on 5/18/2020 8:51 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 12:33 AM
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