COVID-19 UPDATE: Stay-at-home advisory, early business closures, revised mask and gathering orders for Massachusetts

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Several new coronavirus restrictions for Massachusetts will go into effect Friday as case numbers continue to rise across the state.

Thursday will be the last night you’ll be able to dine in at a restaurant past 9:30 p.m. for the foreseeable future. The statewide stay at home advisory will begin Friday that includes many businesses having to close each night at 9:30 p.m.

According to the Department of Public Health, the new gatherings order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.

Residents are expected to stay-at-home for non-essential reasons between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Governor Baker also signed an updated order related to face-coverings. The revised order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

This curfew also applies to liquor stores, adult-use marijuana sales, gyms, casinos, and youth and adult sports.

The state reported more than 1,700 new cases yesterday which is the highest total since June 1.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Targeted Measures To Curb Rising COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations

Effective November 6, the following businesses and activities must close to the public each day between the hours of 9:30 PM and 5:00 AM.

  • Restaurants (in-person dining must cease at 9:30 PM, although takeout and delivery may continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcohol)
  • Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales at 9:30 PM (but may continue to sell other products)
  • Adult-use marijuana sales must cease at 9:30 PM (not including medical marijuana)
  • Indoor & outdoor events
  • Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
  • Youth and adult amateur sports activities
  • Golf facilities
  • Recreational boating and boating businesses
  • Outdoor recreational experiences
  • Casinos and horse tracks/simulcast facilities
  • Driving and flight schools
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, nature centers
  • Close contact personal services (such as hair and nail salons)
  • Gyms, Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Museums/cultural & historical facilities/guided tours

Click here to read the new executive order (including full list of businesses required to close at 9:30 PM).

Face Covering Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order related to face-coverings. The revised order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.

Click here to read the revised face-coverings order.

Gatherings Order: Governor Baker also signed an updated order restricting gatherings. The new gatherings order reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.

The new gatherings order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.

Click here to read the revised gatherings order.

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