Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday revealed the state’s re-opening plan, which includes a rough timeline along which organizations in various sectors might re-open. Up first are places of worship (up to 40% occupancy), beginning May 18, and next up (May 25) are hair salons and barber shops, pet grooming shops, and car washes.
Retailers beyond restaurants will be able to start curbside pick-up on the 25th, too, if they adhere to a bunch of safety rules set by the state and town, and offices will be able to open at up to 25% capacity. Nail salons, summer camps, restaurants and other businesses will be addressed in later re-opening phases, which could roll out every few weeks. Gyms, museums and other businesses are in line to open in Phase 3, likely a few weeks later.
Organizations will largely be counted on to self-comply, and local authorities will be counted on to field questions and complaints. A fine system will run from $100 to $300, though Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito stressed that the focus will be on encouraging organizations to do the right thing rather than taking a punitive approach. Verbal consultations and written warnings will precede fines.
Natick businesses that fall into categories addressed in phase 1 of the re-opening plan are ready to go, and the state is giving organizations that would fall into sectors addressed in later phases tools to ready themselves, too.
Among the Natick businesses raring to open is Jesamondo. The salon and spa has announced it will open on May 26 and is booking now. Things will be different, as you’ll need to wear a mask with ear loops (to make it easier to get at your hair), you’ll need to get your temperature taken and you’ll need to wait in your car before getting called in.
Bruno’s Barber Shop also is working to open next week and invites you to get on the opening day list. While plans haven’t been finalized, you’ll need to wear a mask and make an appointment, and it’s possible you’ll need to get your temperature checked. The Barber Suite on Rte. 9 is among other shops also planning to re-open next week.
The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce is offering a free webinar on May 20 at 10am about re-opening your business in the new coronavirus.
Although houses of worship are free to open now, it remains to be seen how they will play this. The Eliot Church of Natick, for one, is holding off.
“As many of you are aware, the state has just given permission to congregations to use their best judgement around returning to in-person worship starting this month. However, we wanted to let you know that as of right now, the Eliot Parish Committee has decided to continue with virtual worship services at least until September. The reasons are many, but they boil down to the fact that we feel there are still too many questions about the coronavirus and its spread to take the risk of having us together before then,” according to a note to parishioners.