COVID-19: New Hampshire Governor Issues Closure of Non-Essential Businesses and Stay-at-Home Emergency Order
Saturday, March 28, 2020

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Governor Christopher T. Sununu issued Emergency Order #17 requiring non-essential businesses to close and Granite State citizens to stay at home.  The order takes effect at 11:59 pm on March 27, 2020 and lasts until May 4, 2020.


All businesses that do not provide “Essential Services,” which are listed in Exhibit A to the order, must close their physical workplaces and facilities and stop all in-person operations.  The order also requires businesses providing essential services to develop procedures for social distancing consistent with guidance from the CDC and Department of Public Health.  Employees of essential businesses may continue to cross state borders for work-related travel, including travel to and from work, and to transport products to distribution facilities, etc.  All businesses, essential or not, are permitted—and encouraged—to continue their operations through remote means.

In addition to law enforcement, public safety personnel, and first responders (and certain of their vendors), businesses providing essential services include specified businesses and workers in the following industries/sectors: 

  • Food and Agriculture

  • Health Care/Public Health/Human Services

  • Energy (electricity, petroleum, natural and propane gas, and steam)

  • Waste and Wastewater

  • Transportation and Logistics

  • Public Works

  • Communications and Information Technology

  • Other Community-Based Essential Functions (including, among others, buildings safety/inspection, education, construction, certain professional services such as legal, accounting and payroll/employee benefits, hotels, commercial retail stores that supply essential sectors, and places of worship)

  • Manufacturing (companies producing and supplying materials and products to other essential businesses)

  • Hazardous Materials

  • Financial Services

  • Chemical

  • Defense (including civilian workers, contractors and subcontractors)

If your business is not listed in Exhibit A to the order, but you believe it is essential or provides essential services, you may request designation as an essential business by writing to and including basic contact information and a brief justification.


Starting at 11:59 pm tonight, New Hampshire citizens are required to stay at home or at their place of residence.  The order provides exceptions for certain activities for which Granite Staters may leave home, including:  getting fresh air or exercise; outdoor recreation; essential errands such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy; visiting a spouse, parent, or child; providing care for another person; getting gas; picking up take-out food; receiving deliveries (Amazon, UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.); receiving essential medical care or services; going to work if you are employed by an essential business; and working remotely for a non-essential business.

The order does not apply to K-12 schools, state, local, and county governments and legislative bodies, and the courts.


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