Governor Closes Schools, No Dining at Restaurants, Bans Gatherings Over 25, and More

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On Sunday in response to the spreading of the Coronavirus, Governor Charlie Baker announced sweeping restrictions across the state that effect restaurants, gatherings, restaurants, and schools.

“The facts on the ground have changed,” said Baker. “Now that we have evidence based on the testing results that we have community transmission in seven counties in Massachusetts, I think at this point in time it’s particularly appropriate we not only move on the school closures, but also that we get a lot more aggressive around other places and spaces that people gather.”

Starting Tuesday through April 17 all restaurants and bars in the Commonwealth must shutdown on-premise consumption. Restaurants and bars can continue to offer food via takeout or delivery.

Before Baker's conference, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Sunday that effective immediately all Boston restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bar rooms, are required to reduce capacity by 50 percent, remove tables and chairs to reflect that reduced capacity. State regulations supersede the city's regulations in terms of the restaurants being allowed to have customers. In Boston, at the latest those establishments must close at 11 pm. Any business found in violation of these regulations will be shutdown for 30 days in Boston.

Governor Baker announced that gatherings of more than 25 are banned, which includes all community, civic, public, leisure, and faith-based events; Sports games with spectators, concerts, and conferences. The ban includes fitness centers, gyms, private clubs, and theaters.

Across the state all public and private schools are suspended through April 7. Boston previously announced that its public schools are closed through April 27.

Baker said retail stores may still stay open as long as they don't have more than 25 people in them.

Retail stores can stay open as long as they have 25 people or less in them, Baker said.

Baker said that the order does not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies. 

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