October 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 293

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COVID-19: Massachusetts Governor Extends Non-Essential Business Closures to May 18, 2020

On April 28, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the second extension of Massachusetts’ non-essential business closure order, now in effect until May 18, 2020. The prior closure order, which was first issued on March 23 and then extended on March 31, requires that all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public. The extended closure order follows the administration’s closure of public schools through the end of the school year and non-emergency child care programs through June 29, announced by Governor Baker during a press conference on April 21, 2020.

The new order, COVID-19 Order No. 30 dated April 28, 2020, is effective immediately. As before, businesses not on the list of COVID-19 Essential Services are encouraged to continue operating 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 18, 2020. Separate guidance that all travelers arriving in the Commonwealth must self-quarantine for 14 days, except for public health and other essential workers, also remains in effect.

The COVID-19 Essential Services list, last updated on March 31, 2020, remains in effect and provides clarification about the businesses that are allowed to operate their facilities during the emergency. As before, businesses that would like to be designated as an essential function may submit an online request form after confirming that they are not covered by the guidance issued to date. These advisories recommend that, if a business qualifies as essential, it should continue to operate and perform the essential service. The governor's 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.

The Baker administration also announced the formation of the Reopening Advisory Board, which will be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. The Board brings together business leaders, municipal government and community leaders, and public health officials from across the Commonwealth. The Reopening Advisory Board is charged with advising the administration on strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. The Board will deliver a report by May 18 that will include workplace safety standards, industry frameworks, and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders. The Baker administration emphasized that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the reopening process.

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.

©2021 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 120
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About this Author

Kathleen Hamann White Collar Attorney Pierce Atwood Washington, DC
Partner

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...

202-530-6409
Melanie Conroy Commercial Litigation Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm
Counsel

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,...

617-488-8119
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