The Baker-Polito Administration on Tuesday announced further restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, including new capacity and gathering limits. These measures will go into effect on Saturday, December 26th and will remain in effect until noon on January 10th, 2021.

The move comes amid a rise in cases of COVID-19 across the state. Restaurants, which have probably taken the hardest hit from restrictions that are already in place, will now for the time being face further restrictions that will make it tougher to stay lucrative.

You can read a summary of the restrictions here.

 Read the full emergency order here.

Effective Saturday, December 26th, most industries in Massachusetts will be subject to a 25% capacity limit including:

  • Restaurants (based on permitted seating capacity)
  • Close Contact Personal Services
  • Theatres and Performance Venues
  • Casinos
  • Office Spaces
  • Places of Worship
  • Retail Businesses
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Golf Facilities (for indoor spaces)
  • Libraries
  • Lodging (for common areas)
  • Arcades and Indoor Recreation Businesses
  • Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
  • Museums, Cultural Facilities and Guided Tours

Workers and staff will not count towards the occupancy count for restaurants, places of worship, close contact personal services, and retail businesses. All other rules and restrictions in each sector-specific guidance will remain in effect.

Watch the video of Tuesday briefing here via the MassGovernor YouTube page and


Effective Saturday, December 26th, the gatherings limits will be updated. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people outside. The gatherings limit applies to private homes, event venues and public spaces.

And finally, the Department of Public Health has released updated guidance to hospitals around nonessential, elective invasive procedures. To preserve health care personnel resources, effective 12:01am on December 26th, all hospitals are directed to postpone or cancel all nonessential inpatient elective invasive procedures in order to maintain and increase inpatient capacity. Hospitals will need to make every effort to preserve their inpatient capacity by cancelling nonessential electives and redeploying staff. Patients are reminded to still seek necessary care at their hospital or from their health care provider.

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