Closure of Non-Essential Businesses Extended Until May 18

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Closure of Non-Essential Businesses Extended Until May 18

Budget, Tax, & Finance News | April 28, 2020
By: Chris Geehern

Governor Charlie Baker today extended until May 18 the order requiring non-essential Massachusetts businesses to close their physical operations to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It marked the second time the governor has extended the shutdown as the commonwealth continues to confront a surge of novel coronavirus cases and a simultaneous economic crisis that has seen more than 650,000 people file for unemployment in the past five weeks.

Baker issued an order on March 23 for non-essential businesses to close their doors through April 7.  The governor extended the shutdown on March 30 until May 4.

The governor’s stay-at-home advisory and the prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more people are also extended.

“I know pushing these dates back a couple of weeks is probably not what many people want to hear,” the governor said during a press conference today.

“We all look forward to stepping in front of this podium to tell you that we’re starting to open for business. I know that we’ll get there soon, but we have to be smart about how we do it and recognize and understand that there are risks associated with going back too soon.”

The governor said that medical and infectious disease experts have said the social distancing measures undertaken in Massachusetts have been successful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Monday, the Department of Public Health reported there are now 56,462 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 3,003 deaths.

“Massachusetts employers desperately want to get back to work but they also realize the unique circumstances of COVID-19 and the governor’s efforts to oversee an orderly and safe re-opening of the state economy,” said Brooke Thomson, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts.