BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker announced a statewide ban today, March 13, on all gatherings of 250 people or more to combat the spread of COVID-19. The ban is effective immediately.
The order includes, but is not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events; sporting events with spectators; concerts; conventions; fundraisers; parades; fairs; festivals; and any similar event or activity that brings together 250 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time in a venue such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.
Baker said the order does not apply to normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, or other spaces where 250 or more persons may be in transit.
The order also does not apply to restaurants, “provided that they should, when possible, encourage social distancing,” or typical office environments, government buildings, or factories.
Nor does the order apply to higher education or K-12 schools, as long as assemblies or classes of more than 250 people are avoided.
“That guidance gives schools very specific advice about when to close individual schools and for how long,” Baker said. “Our public-health officials do not recommend school systems shut down systemwide at this time. They recommend careful monitoring of students and temporary closures to allow for schools to clean and reopen.”