March 18, 2021


Gov. Baker Announces Move to Step 1, Phase IV

Travel Order downgraded to Travel Advisory


Governor Charlie Baker announced today that Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22, and that the MA Travel Order will transition to Travel Advisory, also effective March 22.  Also, RAM expects to see a revision of the Sector specific protocols governing retail and restaurant operations early next week.  We believe the revision will include a reopening of food court seating in malls, a current RAM priority. 

Gathering limits effective March 22 include:

  • Large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at 12% capacity limit, required to submit plan to Department of Public Health (DPH).  This includes stadiums, arenas and ballparks
  • Event venues and public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people
  • Dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events.  Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols

Travel Order: 

Also effective March 22, the MA Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory.  The new travel advisory will state that all persons entering MA, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.  The advisory does allow for certain exemptions:

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours
  • Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms)


Governor Baker Announces Vaccine Timeline for All Categories


The new date specific timeline for when all categories of MA residents become eligible to be vaccinated is here.  RAM members will take note of the inclusion of retail and restaurant workers in the category of those becoming eligible on March 22.  For more information see “COVID-19 vaccinations for certain workers.”  The list includes:


  • Restaurant or cafe workers
  • Food, meatpacking, beverage, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, or food service workers
  • Grocery and convenience store workers             


IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline to May 17, State Looks to Follow


The U.S. Treasury and IRS announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year would be extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021.  State legislative leaders immediately indicated that the House and Senate would act quickly to move the state filing date to align with the May 17 federal date.