August 11, 2020
Governor Baker issued the Third Revised Order Regulating Gatherings Throughout the Commonwealth (the “COVID-19 Order No. 46”) on August 7, 2020. Pursuant to COVID-19 Order No. 46, starting on August 11, 2020, the following limitations on social gatherings are mandatory:
The gathering restrictions set forth in COVID-19 Order No. 46 apply to all gatherings in public and private locations within the Commonwealth, including private homes, backyards, parks, athletic fields, and parking lots. It does not, however, impact general capacity limitations on large, unenclosed public areas such as beaches. Further, any person over the age of two must wear a face covering at a gathering of more than ten people where persons from different households are present.
Businesses and organizations designated as Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III enterprises previously permitted to open their brick-and-mortar locations are exempt from COVID-19 Order No. 46 provided they remain in compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Public Health, Department of Labor Standards, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Governor Baker emphasized the fact that bars are closed and restaurants are required to serve food prepared on site in order to serve alcoholic beverages.
Outdoor gatherings for the purpose of political expression and religious activities are exempt from the restrictions set forth in COVID-19 Order 46, however, indoor gatherings for political purpose are subject to the limitations set for in COVID-19 Order 46. Religious services shall continue to follow the COVID-19 safety rules and capacity limitations set forth in the Places of Worship sector-specific guidance.
Lastly, COVID-19 Order No. 46 sets forth a number of legal exceptions it does not apply to, including, but not limited to, any municipal legislative body, the General Court, the Judiciary, Federal governmental entities, health care facilities or licensed health are provider, polling places, elementary and secondary schools, certain approved child care programs, facilities operated, contracted or licensed by the Department of Corrections or Sherriff, Department of Youth Services, Department of Mental Health, Department of Public Health or Department of Developmental Services, and facilities and programs providing a safe space for the homeless such as domestic violence shelters.
Notably, Governor Baker granted state and local police the authority to enforce these new limitations and announced a COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team that will monitor and work to enforce the new regulations. This is in stark contrast to the public health and safety departments previously assigned to this task. Businesses and individuals are subject to discipline for any violation of COVID-19 Order No. 46 including, but not limited to, a fine of $500 for each violation and/or revocation, suspension or cancellation of their liquor license.
COVID-19 Order No. 46 goes into effect August 11, 2020 and remains in effect until rescinded or until the state of emergency ends, whichever occurs first. The second part of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening place is delayed indefinitely.
Reach out directly to Bret Cohen or Joseph Donovan with any questions concerning Governor Baker’s phased reopening announcement or related orders.
For additional information on COVID-19 related issues, please visit Nelson Mullins COVID-19 resource page or contact a Nelson Mullins attorney.
These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.