Hospitality Blog

Massachusetts Restricts Business and Venue Capacities Effective December 26, 2020

By Joseph Y. Wang on December 23, 2020

On December 22, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 59, which temporarily limits statewide occupancy capacities at certain indoor and outdoor facilities.  These restrictions are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and begin December 26th at midnight and will expire at noon on January 10, 2021 unless further extended.  To read the Governor’s order, please click here.

Capacity Restrictions:

  • Restaurants: Both indoor and outdoor restaurant dining remain permitted, but are limited to 25% of seating capacity.  This 25% limitation applies separately to indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.
  • Retail: All retail businesses are limited to 25% of capacity, and workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.
  • Hotels: Hotels and other lodgings are limited to 25% of capacity in common areas only.
  • Events and gatherings: Indoor and outdoor events are limited to a maximum of 10 persons indoors and 25 persons outdoors. Workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count. This applies to public event venues and private homes.

COVID-19 Order No. 59 also includes capacity restrictions for non-hospitality sectors and businesses. Please refer to Order No. 59 for more information.

These new restrictions supplement the Massachusetts reopening plan’s prior rollback to Phase III, Step 1 (per COVID-19 Order No. 58) and the mandatory early closure requirements for certain businesses (per COVID-19 Order No. 53), which remain in effect.  Sherin and Lodgen’s Hospitality Group has previously discussed the early closure rules here.

Sherin and Lodgen’s Hospitality Practice Group will continue to closely monitor State House news and will provide frequent updates.


Joseph Y. Wang – Partner

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