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17 March, 2021

March 20th, 2021 MA Social Distancing and Capacity Limits

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Social Distancing and Capacity Limits

  • Require face coverings for all workers and attendees, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability
  • The host of an indoor event at private residences, event venues, and in public settings must limit the number of attendees at all times to:
    • No more than 10 persons
  • The host of an outdoor event at private residences, event venues, and in public settings must limit the number of attendees at all times to:
    • No more than 25 persons
  • Occupancy counts in all cases must include all attendees, but may exclude event staff or other workers.
  • In addition to the capacity restrictions specified above, all participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings, including gatherings at private residences, must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering except where participants are members of the same household.
  • Restaurants hosting events must adhere to the capacity limits specified in these standards.
  • Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals
    • Close or reconfigure worker common spaces and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate) to allow social distancing. Employers are encouraged to close break rooms or limit their use
    • Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be separated by 6 feet or more (partitions must extend to at least 6 feet in height)
    • For customer facing enterprises, install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom) and physical barriers for checkout stations where possible
    • Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation
  • Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place, and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  • Valet parking operations should be avoided unless necessary due to physical or geographic constraints or in order to accommodate individual guests with disabling conditions
    • Valets must be provided with hand sanitizer and should use sanitizer before and after parking vehicles

Hygiene Protocols


  • Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site for both event attendees and workers, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  • Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  • Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and event attendees of hygiene and safety protocols
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol must be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for workers and attendees
  • Provide regular sanitation of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site

Staffing and Operations


  • Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    • Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    • Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    • Importance of not coming to work if ill
    • When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe
    • Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  • Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion
  • Event venue operators are urged to inform clients of the Commonwealth’s current out-of-state travel order and to encourage them to inform any out-of-state guests of the order. Event venue operators are encouraged to post information on their websites about requirements for out-of- state travelers
  • Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  • Encourage workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control to stay home or re-assign duties to reduce contact with other workers and attendees
  • Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  • Encourage workers and attendees who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer or event organizer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of any positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Event organizers and venue operators must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts, including advising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers and attendees may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  • Post notice to workers and attendees of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  • Maintain a log of workers and attendees to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed
  • When seated, attendees should be in groups of not more than 6.
  • Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service. Examples include:
    • Food services: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance, provided however that staffed buffets and passed food service is permitted. Self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, drink stations, and other communal serving areas must remain closed
    • Bars: Must remain closed until Phase 4, provided however that drink service may be provided by servers and alcoholic beverages do not have to be accompanied by food orders
    • Musical and other performances: Must follow the latest theater and performance venue guidance, including distance between performers and between performers and attendees. Any performers arriving from other states must follow the Commonwealth’s current out-of-state travel order. Performances at indoor venues may not include singing or the playing of wind or brass instruments.
    • Dance floors: Must remain closed until Phase 4
The MA Guidlines and Ruls

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