Governor Baker Orders All Non-Essential Businesses Closed Amid Pandemic
All non-essential businesses in the state must close their doors to in-person customers and the public by noon on Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker ordered today. All businesses will still be allowed to operate remotely. The order will run until noon on April 7.
Baker also issued a stay-at-home advisory but stopped short of issuing an order. He said the Department of Public health will issue recommendations that limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people, whether they are inside or out. Baker said outdoor exercise is fine, but that people should avoid activities such as "pickup basketball games."
Baker did not ban transportation and did not shut down private transit. But he advised people not to use trains and buses to just go spend timer with their friends during a time when social distancing is needed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
The list of essential businesses includes gas stations, grocery stores, the businesses that supply them, pharmacies, and manufacturers that producing items to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Liquor stores will stay open, as will marijuana dispensaries. Restaurants can still offer takeout and delivery, as long as they adhere to social distancing.
Violators will see fines, and the restrictions will be enforced on the local level, Baker said.
The news comes as the number of confirmed cases in the state continues to rise with five deaths as of Sunday night.
The federal guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce comes from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under the Department of Homeland Security. The list (pdf) has been amended to reflect conditions in Massachusetts.
The list of essential businesses includes:
-Health Care & Public Health
-Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders
-Food & Agriculture
-Water & Wastewater
-Communications and Information Technology
-Defense Industry Base
-Chemical Manufacturing & Hazardous Materials
-Other Designated Community Based Essential Function & Government Operations