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BREAKING: Massachusetts and Connecticut Order Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Massachusetts has joined an increasing number of states ordering the closure of non-essential businesses in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. On March 23, 2020, Governor Charles Baker signed COVID-19 Order No. 13, which requires all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to temporarily close their physical facilities to workers, customers, and the public. The closure begins at noon on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and will run through noon on April 7, 2020. All businesses may continue to operate remotely.

Along with the Order, Governor Baker released detailed guidance as to what operations constitute “COVID-19 Essential Services.” Those businesses may continue to operate in a brick-and-mortar setting but are encouraged to follow social distancing protocols established by the Department of Public Health. The list of the businesses deemed to provide COVID-19 Essential Services is provided here.

Last week, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued a similar Order directing all non-essential business and nonprofit entities to cease in-person operations no later than 8:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020. As of now, those organizations must remain closed through April 22, 2020. A list of “essential business” that may continue in-person operations is available here.

If you have any questions on whether your business qualifies as providing essential services or about transitioning to remote work operations, please contact a member of Verrill’s Employment and Labor Group.