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Massachusetts Order Concerning the Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Posted: March 23, 2020

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a new emergency order today, March 23, 2020, concerning the continued operations of "essential services," the closure of certain workplaces, and revised assemblage restrictions (the "Order"). Below is a non-exhaustive list of key provisions of the Order. If you have any questions about your specific business operations or other COVID-19 related matters, please let us know.

  • The Order creates a list of business operations and services that are considered essential and are deemed "COVID-19 Essential Services." This list can be found here.
  • All COVID-19 Essential Services are urged to continue operating but should follow social distancing protocol recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
  • All businesses that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of 12:00 p.m. on March 24, 2020, until 12:00 p.m. on April 7, 2020.
  • Businesses and organizations that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services are encouraged to continue remote operations to the extent possible without requiring anyone to enter the physical workplace.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people in any confined indoor or outdoor spaces are prohibited throughout Massachusetts.
    • This prohibition does not apply to businesses or organizations that deliver COVID-19 Essential Services.
    • This prohibition does not apply to unenclosed, outdoor spaces, such as parks, athletic fields, parking lots, etc. unless such activity brings participants into close, physical contact.
  • Places of worship are not required to close their facilities, but they are required to comply with the 10 person limitation on public gatherings.
  • Food and beverage providers are encouraged to provide take-out and delivery services but are prohibited from allowing on-premises consumption of food or beverages.
  • Violations of the Order may result in criminal penalties or civil fines up to $300 per violation.
  • Anyone may request that their business be designated a COVID-19 Essential Service by completing the form located on the following website: https://www.mass.gov/forms/essential-service-designation-request