Governor Baker announces temporary revised COVID-19 measures, effective December 26

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Governor Baker announces temporary revised COVID-19 measures, effective December 26

On December 22nd, Governor Baker announced a temporary Executive Order and revised COVID-19 measures to reduce the spread of the virus in Massachusetts.

The temporary Executive Order will outline the following measures that will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 26th and will continue until Sunday, January 10th, with a possibility of an extension of another week based upon available data.

This pause will reduce allowable occupancy from current capacity levels of 40% to 25% in multiple sectors.

  • Notably, this capacity limit will now apply to restaurants. Capacity will be set at 25% of pre-COVID seating capacity and distancing between tables and other requirements will remain in place. Indoor and Outdoor seating capacity must be calculated separately (rather than combining them).
  • Small spaces (such as personal services) and other spaces without clear occupancy standards may use 5 people / 1000 square feet as an alternative to the 25% occupancy .
  • The 25% limit will not apply to manufacturing, laboratories, drive in movie theaters, or construction
  • Employees/staff are exempted from the capacity count
  • Limits at indoor event venues are being reduced to 10 people.
  • Limits at outdoor event venues are being reduced to 25 people.
  • Current limits at private residences remain the same (10 indoors and 25 outdoors)
  • Limits at movie theaters will be reduced to 25% (no more than 50 people per theater)
  • Limits outdoor performance venues will remain 25% (with the max number reduced to 25 from 50).
  • Office spaces will be required to reduce capacity to 25%, but there will continue to be allowances for offices with “critical services”, such as public safety, public health, and other critical services. There is no approval required for these exemptions.
  • K-12 schools continue to be exempted from these capacity limits and will need to follow DESE standards and guidelines.

New capacity limits by sector:

SectorCurrent Capacity LimitNew Limit
Drive-In Movie TheatersNoneNone
RestaurantsNone25% of seating capacity
Close Contact Personal ServicesNone25%
Indoor and Outdoor Events25 indoor / 50 outdoor10 indoor / 25 outdoor
Theaters and Performance VenuesMovie theaters – 40%, max 50 ppl
Indoor perf venues – Closed
Outdoor perf venues – 25%, max 50 ppl
Movie theaters – 25%, max 50 ppl

Indoor perf venues – Closed

Outdoor perf venues – 25%, max 25 ppl

Office Spaces40%25%
Places of Worship40%25%
Retail Businesses40%25%
Driving and Flight Schools40%25%
Golf Facilities40%25%
Operators of Lodgings40%25%
Arcades & Other Indoor & Outdoor Recreation Businesses40%25%
Fitness Centers and Health Clubs40%25%
Museums / Cultural & Historical Facilities / Guided Tours40%25%
Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed40%25%

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