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Baker Issues New Stay-at-Home and Mask Orders

BOSTON — With new COVID-19 cases up 278 percent and hospitalizations up 145 percent since Sept. 7, the Charlie Baker administration announced a series of new measures Monday to address the concerning trend.

The orders — which will be put into effect Friday Nov. 6 — include a revised stay at home advisory, restrictions on the operating hours of certain businesses, additional mask rules, and restrictions on the size of gatherings.

“We want to do everything in our power to avoid reverting to Phase One or Phase Two of our reopening plan,” Baker said. “But that requires us all to step up and make some changes.”

The stay-at-home advisory instructs residents to remain in their homes between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. seven days a week.

During these hours, residents have been told to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs, and to not hold gatherings in their homes with anybody outside of their household.

The Governor also instructed certain businesses to close at 9:30 p.m.

These businesses include restaurants, where in-person dining must end at 9:30 p.m., although takeout and delivery may continue past that time for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Other establishments now required to close at 9:30 p.m. include liquor stores, recreational marijuana shops, theaters, movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues, youth and adult amateur sports activities, outdoor recreational experiences, casinos, close contact personal services like as hair and nail salons, gyms, fitness centers and health clubs.

A full list of targeted businesses is available at mass.gov.

Baker’s new mask regulation requires that all people wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain the recommended six-foot distance from others.

Lastly, Baker changed the restrictions on gatherings, mandating that indoor gatherings at private residences should be limited to 10 people (as opposed to 25) while outdoor gatherings at private residences should be limited to 25 people (as opposed to 50).

The order specifies that a $500 fine will be imposed for each person above the mandated limit at a particular gathering. 

Per the stay-at-home order, all these gatherings must end by 9:30 p.m. regardless of their size. 

“Right now we’re requesting that you make real sacrifices to keep our schools open, our economy operating and our healthcare system functioning fully,” said Baker.

The new regulations will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. There is no definite timeline for when they will end.

Guthrie Scrimgeour can be reached at gscrimgeour@itemlive.com.