On March 23, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a statewide order mandating the closure of all non-essential workplaces and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. On March 31, he extended this order through May 4 and provided additional clarification.
On Sunday, April 5, Mayor Marty Walsh set stricter rules in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including asking that everyone who leaves home for any purpose wear a face covering or mask. In addition, those in a vulnerable population, including those with asthma, kidney or liver disease, are asked to stay inside as much as possible for the next two weeks.
Mayor Walsh also set a curfew for Boston residents between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for everyone except for essential workers. In addition, the city is also shutting down sports facilities including basketball and tennis courts and banning street hockey.
The Boston advisory will be in effect from April 6 until May 4, matching the governor’s extended stay-at-home advisory.
- All businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” must close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers, and the general public.
- The list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” providers was updated on March 31 and is effective April 1. This list includes the following professions, but employers should see the full list issued with Governor Baker’s March 31 order.
- Healthcare/Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and other First Responders
- Food and Agriculture
- Petroleum Industry
- Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and other liquid fuels
- Steam Workers
- Water and Wastewater
- Transportation and Logistics
- Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
- Communications and Information Technology (IT)
- Critical Manufacturing
- Hazardous Materials
- Financial Services
- Defense Industrial Bases
- Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
- Hygiene Products and Services
- Construction-Related Activities
- And others…
- Any businesses or organizations that wish to be designated as an essential business may submit their request here.
- Please note that non-essential businesses are not prohibited from continuing to operate in general. They are simply required to close their physical facilities. Any non-essential businesses capable of functioning with a remote workforce may continue to do so.
- As noted above, the order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people will also remain in effect through May 4.
Employer Next Steps
- You can find updates on Massachusetts’s COVID-19 regulations and general information here.
- Massachusetts residents and employers should continue observing current restrictions, including closure of non-essential work facilities and restricting social gatherings to no more than 10 individuals.
- Continue monitoring local, state, and federal regulations, as this is an evolving situation, with new information becoming available every day.
- If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your policies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.