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:
|Sector||Current Capacity Limit||New Limit|
|Drive-In Movie Theaters||None||None|
|Restaurants||None||25% of seating capacity|
|Close Contact Personal Services||None||25%|
|Indoor and Outdoor Events||25 indoor / 50 outdoor||10 indoor / 25 outdoor|
|Theaters and Performance Venues||Movie 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
|Places of Worship||40%||25%|
|Driving and Flight Schools||40%||25%|
|Operators of Lodgings||40%||25%|
|Arcades & Other Indoor & Outdoor Recreation Businesses||40%||25%|
|Fitness Centers and Health Clubs||40%||25%|
|Museums / Cultural & Historical Facilities / Guided Tours||40%||25%|
|Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed||40%||25%|