NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Jon Mitchell announced Saturday that the City of New Bedford will follow and implement the second phase of Governor Charlie Baker’s reopening plan, which allows for additional sector reopening on Monday, June 8.

The plan includes sector-specific guidance for businesses and operations permitted to reopen with guidelines during the second phase. The governor’s plan may be found here.

New Bedford’s restaurant reopening advisory group, co-chaired by City Planner Tabitha Harkin and local businessman and restaurateur Stephen Silverstein, has released guidelines outlining outdoor dining, which begins in Massachusetts – including New Bedford – on Monday, June 8. Restaurant reopening begins with outdoor dining and appropriate social distancing.

For city dining establishments, the reopening and outdoor dining process includes an expedited Outdoor Cafe permitting process, with easy-to-follow guidance to comply with the state’s public health and safety requirements. The permit is also available online. This is a simple, quick process intended to ensure restaurants and dining establishments are able to proceed with outdoor dining easily, while protecting the health and safety of workers and patrons.

Playgrounds will also reopen with social distancing on Monday, June 8. Outdoor recreation including youth and adult sports leagues and golf facilities reopen with the state’s guidelines on Monday, June 8. Retail businesses and close contact personal services also reopen Monday, June 8, with state guidelines. Detailed questions may be directed to the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches.

Details on reopening in New Bedford are available on the city’s website. The page will be updated as further details to the Phase 2 reopening announcements are made by the state.

COVID-19 rates of transmission have declined in Massachusetts, and more recently in New Bedford. The potential for transmission of COVID-19 remains real, and mask-wearing and social distancing remain in effect in order to protect the health and safety of all residents. All residents are urged to continue to follow city, state, and federal guidelines to ensure they protect themselves, their families, and others. New Bedford’s total positive COVID-19 cases as of June 6 stand at 1,970 cases, with 81 total fatalities in New Bedford due to COVID-19.

Current information on COVID-19 trends may be found on the city’s website.

For information on the masks available to any New Bedford resident who wants one, visit

— City of New Bedford

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