What does the new State guidance mean for my Somerville business?
In an effort to combat rising COVID cases in Massachusetts, new guidance from the State will become effective on November 6. These executive orders include changes to mask wearing policies, hours of operation for businesses, and gatherings. Here are the key points:
Masks: State policy now requires that everyone over the age of 5 wear a mask whenever they are in an indoor or outdoor public area. In Somerville, the policy remains that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask whenever they are in an indoor or outdoor public area. Those with a medical or disabling condition are exempt from regulations, but in some cases may need to provide documentation.
Closing Period: These rules supersede any local license your business may have in Somerville.
- Businesses in the following categories must be closed from 9:30pm to 5:00am.
- Restaurants (restaurants may offer food and non-alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery during the closing period)
- Arcades and other indoor and outdoor recreation
- Indoor and outdoor events
- Indoor and outdoor theaters, movie theaters, and performance venues
- Youth and adult amateur sports activities
- Outdoor recreational experiences and educational activities
- Close contact personal services
- Fitness centers and health clubs
- Museums and historical facilities
- (This is a summary, see the order for the complete list.)
- Businesses may not sell alcohol or adult-use cannabis from 9:30pm to 5:00am. This includes retailers, restaurants, caterers, events, and delivery services.
Liquor License Renewal: Section 12 licensees that remain closed to the public may
automatically renew their licenses for 2021 without submitting proof of liquor liability insurance (however, licensees must submit proof of liquor liability insurance to the local licensing authorities prior to reopening to the public) or proof of having a workers’ compensation insurance policy (however, licensees must have no payroll at the time of renewal, and licensees must submit proof of workers’ compensation insurance to the local licensing authorities prior to reopening to the public). See the ABCC brief for more details.
Gatherings: The State has tightened gathering rules, but the City of Somerville still maintains its stricter limits.
- If there are specific rules relating to your business regarding capacity limits, those rules still apply.
- If not, Somerville rules are that any indoor or outdoor gatherings are capped at no more than 10 persons.
- However, all gatherings--no matter size and location--must now be dispersed by 9:30pm, except for religious or political gatherings, per the State order.
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