Shana Bryant

For a little over a year, the United States has been halted by Covid-19. The Coronavirus shut down the country in March 2020, thrusting us into a pandemic we hadn’t seen in 100 years. Workers and students were forced to go completely virtual, while many businesses, large and small, had to shut down. 

We’ve had to navigate everyday life with mask mandates, social distancing, and weeks-long quarantines. But with the introduction of a Covid-19 vaccine at the end of 2020, we’re slowly, but surely, headed back to the new normal.

As more Americans are getting vaccinated, many states are reopening, and Massachusetts is joining them. On May 29, 2021, the Commonwealth will rescind its mask mandates in accordance with new guidelines from the CDC, and the State of Emergency will end June 15, 2021, per Governor Charlie Baker

It is important to know what these new changes mean, how they’ll be enforced, and the precautions you’re recommended to take as we ease back into normalcy.

What’s Changing

There are many changes that will come into effect, including changes for youth summer activities. Beginning May 29, all industries can open at 100% capacity. This includes shopping centers and restaurants, however, public and private transportation and facilities housing vulnerable populations will still require face coverings. 

Activities such as sporting events and concerts held at large stadiums are permitted to increase capacity by 25%. Large outdoor sports are allowed to take place with a staggered start. Live singing in indoor establishments will be allowed with a standard distancing rule. 

Schools will no longer require face coverings for outdoor activities such as recess and sports. Grocery stores and pharmacies are no longer required to have dedicated hours for senior citizens, but it should still be considered. 

Private businesses are also allowed to enforce their own mask mandate, and may still require patrons to wear face coverings. It is recommended that industries continue to follow CDC guidelines.

Getting Back to Normal

Per the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear face coverings indoors. It is recommended that non-vaccinated individuals continue wearing face coverings indoors or in small gatherings. 

While everyone is trying to get back to normal —whatever that may be— it’s important to remember that Covid-19 is still a risk. Those with the vaccine can still contract and spread Covid-19 to others, including vaccinated individuals. You should still use caution when gathering in large groups indoors.

The new changes in Covid-19 restrictions include removal of the gathering limit of 10 or less individuals at a time. It is safe to have indoor, in-person events. 

How to Hold Your Event Safely

While cases decrease and vaccinations increase, safety precautions should still be taken as you prepare any in-person events. For your next event, there are many ways to ensure your guests are not only safe, but comfortable. 

One way to clean and sanitize a large area is to use UV sanitation. Check if your contract allows for such cleaning since UV sanitizers, also called UV sterilizers, can clean surfaces without chemicals. There are also UV air purifiers. 

Next, have a sanitation station with items such as hand sanitizer and surface cleaning wipes, even masks for those who still prefer to wear one. This will enable your guests to clean their area as they like, and shows that you’re still considering the health of your guests.

Lastly, have a safety team to help organize safety measures for the event and to implement them during. These planners can be used to provide safety tips to your team. Your guests will be able to reach out to them for any questions, as many people are hesitant to attend gatherings at this time. It can put less strain on you as well if this is assigned to a separate team, allowing you to plan your best event yet.

It’s an exciting time as people can return to meeting in public with less worry of Covid-19. As we attempt to reopen, it is important to remain diligent in being safe, as there are many people who are still at risk.

Need help planning your next event? I’d love to speak with you. Book a consultation here.