Aerial photo of the Mid-Cambridge and Riverside neighborhoods at sunset

Reopening Cambridge

The City of Cambridge is reviewing the plan released 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. The City of Cambridge will release further information on City-specific orders that will supplement the State’s recommendations when neccessary.


Sector-Specific Plans & Guidelines

Below is not an exhaustive list and more detailed information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can be found here.

Phase 1

Manufacturing - Eligible to Reopen May 18, 2020

Places of Worship - Eligible to Reopen May 18, 2020

Car Washes - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020

Construction - Phased Reopening Begins in Cambridge 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.


Important City Guidelines & Information:


General Retail - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020

  • Eligible to reopen May 25, 2020
  • Retail (such as clothing stores, toy stores, jewelry stores, nurseries and garden centers that don’t sell food products, adult use cannabis stores)
  • For curbside pickup and delivery only.
  • View Full Business List by category and reopening date (
  • View City of Cambridge Contact List for Reopening by category showing who to contact in which department for questions/help reopening your establishment

Hair Salons / Barbershops - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020


Important City Information:

Laboratories - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020

Pet Grooming - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020

Office Spaces - Eligible to Reopen May 25, 2020; Delay until June 1 Requested in Cambridge


Important City Information:

Phase 2

Child and youth serving programs - Reopen date TBD

On June 1, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) released the Minimum Requirements for Health and Safety, which sets forth the minimum requirements that programs must meet in order to reopen. 
The minimum requirements apply to all child and youth serving programs, including child care programs regulated by EEC, recreational camps regulated by DPH, and municipal or recreational youth programs not traditionally licensed as camps that are seeking to operate during the phased plan of Reopening Massachusetts. Note: Residential camps and other overnight stays are not permitted to open until further notice. 


Important Information & Documents

Hotels, motels, and other lodging businesses - Reopen date TBD

Restaurants outdoor seating - Reopen date TBD

Retail businesses browsing inside stores - Reopen date TBD



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General Guidance

Page was posted on 5/19/2020 3:38 PM
Page was last modified on 5/29/2020 5:06 PM
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