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COVID-19: Massachusetts Governor Extends Non-Essential Business Closures and Updates Non-Essential Business Categories

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today announced several key updates to his March 23, 2020 executive order, which had directed the closure of physical workplaces and facilities for non-essential businesses from noon on March 24, 2020 through noon on April 7, 2020. That prior closure order is now extended through May 4, 2020 by COVID-19 Order No. 21, effective immediately. As before, businesses not on the list of COVID-19 Essential Services are encouraged to continue operations remotely. This order also extends the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people, as well as the Department of Public Health’s Stay-at-Home Advisory, through May 4, 2020.

The Baker Administration also updated the COVID-19 Essential Services categories that are allowed to operate their facilities during the emergency. Key changes to the COVID-19 Essential Services categories are based on guidance from the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and includes clarification about the supply chain that supports essential services, the addition of certain health care providers, and the expansion of types of sanitation workers included. The new COVID-19 Essential Services list, attached to the March 31, 2020 Order as Exhibit A, is effective at noon on April 1, 2020 and replaces the previously issued Exhibit A to Governor Baker’s March 23, 2020 closure order.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has also provided a COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs resource that will be updated to reflect the governor’s latest order and the revised COVID-19 Essential Services list.

As before, businesses that would like to be designated an essential function may submit an online request form after confirming that they are not covered by the guidance issued to date.

These advisories reiterate that, if a business qualifies as essential, it should continue to operate and perform their essential service. The Administration urges all essential businesses to follow social distancing protocols for workers and customers in accordance with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the CDC guidelines for workspaces.

Pierce Atwood’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to track all Executive Orders issued for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Baker Administration. For a complete list, please visit our related coverage, available here.  We also have a quick reference guide on New England closure orders that is updated on a regular basis, available here.

©2020 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.


About this Author

Melanie Conroy Commercial Litigation Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm

Melanie Conroy focuses her practice on class action defense and complex commercial litigation. She has represented clients in connection with internal, government, and regulatory investigations, and has counseled boards of directors, board committees, and senior management on a broad range of matters, including securities, corporate governance, disclosure, and regulatory issues.

Melanie represents businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries, including life sciences, financial services, insurance, private equity, real estate, energy, media, consumer electronics,...

Kathleen Hamann White Collar Attorney Pierce Atwood Washington, DC

Kathleen Hamann is an internationally recognized authority in the field of white collar enforcement and compliance matters. Drawing on her nearly 20 years of service to the federal government, in roles at the US Department of Justice and Department of State, Kathleen helps clients navigate the complexities of U.S. and transnational criminal liability and multijurisdictional government investigations.

Since returning to private practice, Kathleen has represented clients in a number of transnational matters, conducting global risk assessments, designing compliance programs, and addressing multijurisdictional investigations that required navigation of conflicting national laws. She also represents a number of clients in enforcement actions by the multilateral development banks, proceedings conducted under principles of international law. She also serves as an international compliance consultant for the African Development Bank. 

While at the Department of Justice, Kathleen successfully prosecuted many high-profile criminal matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and designed and implemented the first FCPA self-monitorships and hybrid monitorships. Her casework as a prosecutor across a broad range of countries and industries included the design and negotiation of the first-ever simultaneous settlement by the DOJ, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the UK Serious Fraud Office.

Appointed as the DOJ’s international policy counsel on anticorruption in 2010, she represented the Department at the multinational Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Working Group on Bribery, where she played a key role in its evaluation of bribery law in Canada and the UK, and was invited to advise Chile on its corporate criminal liability statute. Kathleen was recognized for her outstanding work at the OECD by receiving the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Criminal Division’s highest award for employee performance.

Prior to joining the DOJ, Kathleen served as a Foreign Service Officer for the US Department of State, where she provided additional international exposure to a variety of jurisdictions, including Latin America and Germany. As the deputy director of anticorruption and governance initiatives in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, she developed and negotiated a range of international policies and commitments to combat international and transnational crime.

With her extensive international experience, Kathleen’s global perspective on white collar enforcement, compliance, and policy issues allows her to provide skilled representation to clients around the world, and to assist in developing robust, efficient, and integrated compliance systems.

Before joining Pierce Atwood, Kathleen was a partner in the Washington, DC office of White & Case LLP.

Kathleen speaks and writes regularly on issues such as anticorruption, the FCPA, multijurisdictional and international investigations, and conflict of laws. She is also an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law.