TEWKSBURY — On Monday, June 8, Governor Charlie Baker outlined the Phase 2, step 1 reopening guidelines for the Commonwealth. As part of an ongoing effort to get the economy moving again while limiting the chances of a resurgence of the coronavirus, the guidelines widen the scope of activities and businesses that may open, albeit with restrictions.
As such, the Town of Tewksbury issued a notice this week informing residents about the openings and modifications of service delivery that they should be aware of for a variety of facilities. The guidance is for both operators and patrons.
According to the notice, the following types of locations may open; retail, childcare facilities, day camps, restaurants with outdoor table service only, hotels and other lodgings for travelers, warehouses and distribution centers, personal services such as home cleaning, photography, window washing, career coaching and education tutoring, post-secondary, higher education, vocational-tech and occupation schools for the purpose of completing graduation requirements, youth and adult amateur sports, outdoor recreation facilities, professional sports practices, non-athletic youth instructional classes in arts, education or life skills, driving and flight schools, outdoor historical spaces, and funeral homes.
Each type of business listed in the order has constraints on operating during this time as a way to conform to health guidelines which help limit the spread of the virus.
For example, restaurants may only have outdoor seating and observe specific spacing. Sports are not permitted to have games. Funeral homes must limit attendees, and retail spaces have modified occupancy guidelines.
Face coverings and social distancing requirements are still in effect and should be observed. Handwashing and sanitizing surfaces are still considered some of the strongest measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, and businesses must create a plan for operating which follows the state’s guidelines.
Tewksbury’s parks are now open but residents are asked to maintain social distance, and gatherings of 10 or more persons are not permitted. Touching surfaces is discouraged since sanitizing cannot be guaranteed, and residents should avoid an area that appears crowded.
A strict “carry in/carry out” policy is also in effect and residents should take all trash with them as receptacles may not be made available.
Walking trails and open spaces are able to be enjoyed but it is encouraged to step aside and leave space for passing when encountering others. Tennis courts are now opened for singles matches and players should be careful about touching any surfaces or equipment, such as gates, tennis balls, etc. Sports courts and fields are opened as of June 8, but a permit is required from the Town Manager’s office, and scrimmages and games for sports considered close-contact are not permitted in this phase.
No referees are permitted in phase 2 either, and any spectators are required to be socially distanced and wear face coverings. The playgrounds and fitness court will open Saturday, June 13, but parents are encouraged to keep children distanced and adhere to the face covering recommendation.
Of special note, the new splash pad at Livingston Street will not be open until July 1, but this is when it would normally be opened anyway, according to the notice.
Additional guidelines extend to community gardens and outdoor programs, with specific requirements for face coverings, spacing, and limits on total number of participants. Additional information for participation in activities includes no sharing of water or food, no sharing of equipment, and the availability of handwashing stations or alcohol-based hand sanitizer in accordance.
According to the web alert, residents are reminded that this is an “ever-changing situation” given the unpredictability of the virus.
For more information and guidance for reopening please go to the town’s website at https://www.tewksbury-ma.gov/home/urgent-alerts/clone-of-everything-you-need-to-know-duringthe-covid-19-state-of-emergency or https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts.
Please e-mail Assistant Town Manager, Steve Sadwick firstname.lastname@example.org with any reopening questions. For any food related questions, contact the Tewksbury Health Department at 978-640-4470, or email the Public Health Director, Susan Sawyer at email@example.com