BOSTON – The new stay-at-home orders announced Nov. 2 by Gov. Charlie Baker are in effect.
Baker said during a press conference early last week that due to the rise in COVID-19 numbers across the Commonwealth, residents should stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless going to work, seeking medical attention, or getting food. The new restrictions are mandatory, and violations could come with a fine of up to $500, according to COVID-19 Order No. 53.
Restaurants should stop serving tableside at 9:30 p.m. but can continue takeout and delivery service.
According to State House News’ Matt Murphy, Baker’s administration updated its rules for restaurants on Thursday, making clear that diners served before 9:30 p.m. can finish their food and drinks, but must be off the premises by 10 p.m.
No food or beverages can be served to a table after 9:30 p.m., but restaurants can keep employees on premises during the mandatory closing period to provide food and non-alcoholic beverage to take-out or delivery. No alcohol can be served in any capacity during the mandatory closing period, the administration said.
Bob Luz, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, had been worried that restaurants would have to rush people seated later in the evening, at 8 p.m., to finish before 9:30 p.m.
“Shutting restaurants down early doesn’t stop people from gathering,” Luz told Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour, predicting people will gather instead in unregulated environments, so “it actually in my mind potentially enhances the opportunity for this type of gathering.”
All sales of alcohol, including at liquor stores, restaurants, and grocery stores, must end at 9:30 p.m.
Adult use cannabis sales are also affected by the order and must end at 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment facilities, such as arcades, casinos, theaters, youth and amateur sporting events, zoos and more must also close at 9:30 p.m.
Baker said indoor gatherings should be limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people.
Everyone over the age of 5 should wear a mask in any public space.