With coronavirus restrictions easing, when can I ...

Get a burger at a restaurant? Go to the beach? Get a haircut?

A restaurant's outdoor seating area on Boston's Newbury Street, as pictured on May 15.
A restaurant's outdoor seating area on Boston's Newbury Street, as pictured on May 15.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

When can I . . . eat at a restaurant? Take the kids to the playground? Meet up with friends at a bar?

On Monday, state officials unveiled a roadmap back to regular life on Monday, finally offering some clarity on what daily life in Massachusetts could soon look like.

Of course, Baker’s plan includes a lot of flexibility on timing. The economy will open in four phases — each of which will last at least three weeks — and the process could slow down or even start over if new waves of COVID-19 cases emerge.

But if all goes well, the lockdown will steadily ease in coming months. Here’s a look at what Baker’s guidance says about some common activities, and when they could resume.


Go back to the office?

On May 25, lab and office space can open — except in Boston, where offices can open starting June 1. Those that are allowed to open are still strongly encouraged to work from home, and businesses should restrict their physical workforce presence to under 25 percent maximum occupancy.

Go to the beach?

With the weather warming up, many will be pleased that Baker’s plan will allow beaches to reopen starting Monday, May 25 — which also happens to be Memorial Day. However, this won’t be your typical day at the beach. Visitors will still be required to stay 6 feet apart at all times — including in bathroom lines. And towel/blanket areas will have to be at least 12 feet apart. The plan also calls for beaches and parking lots to be “managed” to make sure the seaside doesn’t get too crowded.

Beach-goers will also still have to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible, and no groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather. Organized games like volleyball, football, and bocce aren’t allowed, and indoor showers and changing facilities will be closed during the first phase of reopening.


Get a haircut?

Luckily for those with overgrown tresses, barbershops and hair salons can reopen on Monday, May 25, by appointment only. However, there will be restrictions: everyone will have to observe social distancing standards, and all customers and workers should wear face coverings (stylists will apparently have to trim around the ear loops). Workers should wear gloves, gowns or smocks, and safety glasses or goggles, the plan says.

These businesses will only be able to provide hair services — think cuts, colors, and blow-drying — under the first phase. Other services, such as dealing with eyebrows, beard trimming, lip waxing, and manicures, will have to wait. (Nail salons and day spas can expect to open in the second phase.)

Stop working out in my basement and finally get back to the gym?

You might want to get comfortable with your basement. Gyms and fitness centers aren’t allowed to reopen until the third phase, which at the very earliest could begin June 29. In the meantime, the weather’s warming up, so this could be a good opportunity to break out that bike or go for a jog instead.

Eat at a restaurant?

Restaurants can reopen under phase two — which could start no sooner than June 8 — with restrictions and some capacity limitations. (A restaurant and hospitality workgroup convened May 15 to develop procedures for opening of those specific sectors.)


Meet friends for a drink at a bar?

Bars and casinos are not due to open until phase three. There also could be capacity limits, as gathering sizes for the third phase have yet to be determined, and will be based on public health trends.

Bring my kids to the playground?

Campgrounds, playgrounds, spray decks, public and community pools, all athletic fields and courts, and limited youth sports are slated to reopen — with guidelines — under phase two, which could start at the very earliest on June 8.

Send my kids to summer camp?

Recreational camps can open under phase two, which at the very earliest would be June 8. Residential summer camps would be able to open in the third phase, which would be June 29 at the earliest.

Take a vacation?

If your idea of a fun vacation is lounging at home and catching up on Netflix, then you’re in luck. However, if you are hoping to travel for an extended period within Massachusetts — down Cape, for example — take note that lodging businesses such as hotels aren’t allowed to open until phase two. But take note: During phase two, business and recreational travel is discouraged. (Also, under phases one and two, anyone traveling into Massachusetts will still be encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days.)

Travel advisories for phase three will be determined based on public health trends.

Physically go back to school?

This is still a bit up in the air.


When asked whether colleges and universities could expect to welcome students back to campus in the fall, Baker said at a Monday press conference that “the conversation about the fall … is ongoing. I would expect that to get resolved at some point over the course of the next four or five weeks.”

State guidance says that during phases two and three, each higher education institution will develop its own plans for course delivery, which will likely involve a combination of in-person and remote learning to allow for social distancing on campus.

As for K-12 students, schools will stay physically closed through the end of the academic year, with remote lessons taking place. But when it comes to the key piece almost everyone is waiting for — what learning will look like in the fall — that information is yet to come.

Go to a concert?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though live music will return anytime soon. Nightclubs and large venues will be among the last to reopen, and will only get the green light in phase four (which has been titled by the state as “New Normal”). The absolute earliest Phase Four could start is July 20 — and that’s only if phases one through three are perfectly smooth.

Pick up some marijuana?

Recreational marijuana shops will be allowed to reopen on May 25.

Like other retailers during the first phase of the state’s new reopening plan, cannabis stores at first will only be permitted to conduct walk-up or curbside sales, with no customers allowed inside. Eventually, if the state makes enough progress fighting COVID-19, limited numbers of shoppers could enter.


Felicia Gans of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss