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Board of Health

Posted on: December 22, 2020

Announcement of Temporary Revisions to COVID-19 Measures

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2020

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration 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 26, 2020 and will continue until Sunday, January 10, 2021, 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.

Grid showing business sector, current capacity limit and new capacity limit for COVID-19

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