Hospitality Blog

Governor Charlie Baker Orders Early Business Closures to Combat COVID-19 Spread

By Joseph Y. Wang on November 3, 2020

On November 2, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 53 requiring, among other things, early closing for certain businesses in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and limitations on the sale of alcoholic beverages.  These restrictions will begin at midnight on November 6, 2020.  For a copy of the Governor’s order, please click here.

Mandatory Closing:  Beginning at midnight on November 6, 2020, certain designated businesses may not be open to the public after 9:30 pm or before 5:00 am.  These businesses include restaurants; arcades and other indoor and outdoor recreation; indoor and outdoor theaters, including drive-in movie theaters; fitness centers and health clubs; and museums and cultural facilities.  For a complete list of affected businesses, please see the Governor’s order.  Restaurants are permitted to remain open for take-out and delivery during mandatory closing periods.  All affected businesses may remain open to employees and other workers during the mandatory closing period and may conduct business activities that do not involve admitting the public to their premises.

Restrictions on Alcohol and Cannabis Sales:  Beginning at midnight on November 6, 2020, alcohol and cannabis may not be sold after 9:30 pm or before 5:00 am, regardless of any opening hours on any license previously issued by any licensing authority of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Restaurants that remain open for carry-out or delivery during the mandatory closing periods may not sell alcohol for carry-out or delivery during such times, even if they had previously been allowed to do so under prior statutes.

Renewal of Alcohol Licenses:  An establishment which holds a license to sell alcohol but which is closed to the public during the State of Emergency is permitted to renew its license under G.L. c. 138, §12: (a) even if it is currently closed; (b) regardless of whether it currently carries liquor liability insurance; and (c) regardless of whether it currently carries workers’ compensation insurance; provided, however, that all such licensed establishments submit proof of liquor liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance and all other requirements of §12 prior to reopening.

Sherin and Lodgen’s Hospitality Practice Group will continue to monitor news from the State House closely and will provide updates as frequently as possible.


Joseph Y. Wang – Partner

Joseph Y. Wang advises hotel and restaurant clients in complex real estate and corporate transactions and contract negotiations. Read Bio