Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
Seven new measures that will take effect on Sunday. These measures are part of a regional approach in close coordination with Massachusetts and Connecticut. Over the next two weeks, we will be closely monitoring behavioral data to see if this approach is working or if we need to impose additional restrictions.
1. Effective Sunday, a stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights, and 10:30pm-5am on Fridays and Saturdays. At that time, unless you’re going to and from work or running essential errands like getting food or going to the pharmacy, you should be in your own home. Not someone else’s home – your home. We know that late-night house parties are a major factor in this second wave. And if you’re at a restaurant or bar until that time, once it closes, drive straight home. We’re not going to take a heavy hand – as always, our approach calls for voluntary compliance. But if we do see big parties at any time of day, and particularly at night, we will break them up and fine you.
2. Also effective Sunday, all restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities (such as casinos, bowling alleys, and museums), and personal services must close at 10pm on weeknights, and 10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants can continue to offer takeout and drive-through after that time.
3. We’re lowering the capacity limit for indoor events and venues of assembly to 50%, with a maximum of 125 people. For outdoors, the limit will be 66%, with a maximum of 150 people. This applies to things like performing arts venues, movie theaters, and houses of worship. I’d ask everyone to consider switching to virtual worship for the next few weeks.
4. We’re reducing the limit for catered events to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors. If you already have a wedding planned in the next two weeks, we’re able to consider an exception if you contact the Department of Business Regulation.
5. We’re reducing the capacity limit at malls and big box stores – retailers with more than 30,000 sq. ft. of space – back to the Phase 2 limit of 1 person per 150 sq. ft. Over the last few weeks, we’ve started to see more crowding at these businesses, and we anticipate that will continue to increase as we head into a big shopping season.
6. In addition to working from home when possible, we’re asking businesses to postpone or cancel nonessential work-related travel. We’re also leading by example in this regard and have put a hiatus on work-related travel for state employees.
7. We’re updating our masking guidance to require masks at all times with anyone you don’t live with. That includes anytime you leave your home – including at the gym – and private gatherings if there’s anyone there you don’t live with.
Restaurants and bars will receive between $2,000 and $10,000 based upon how much business they typically do. These businesses will need to attest that they were affected by this early closure, and then they can expect their grant from the Division of Taxation within 30 days. We know these grants might not make up for what has been an extraordinarily difficult time, but we hope it will help as we make another round of temporary sacrifices to stop the second wave.