Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on March 31 that the current stay-at-home advisory, closure of nonessential businesses, and ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be extended until May 4, which means that all bars and restaurants in the state must also remain closed for dine-in service until at least that date.
Baker’s initial order regarding restaurants — which he made on March 15, and which went into place on March 17 — closed bars and restaurants for dine-in service through April 6, allowing takeout and delivery service to continue. They’ll still be able to continue those services as long as proper social distancing measures are taken.
A little more than a week after first announcing that bars and restaurants must cease dine-in services, Baker also announced the initial stay-at-home advisory to help block further spread of the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts. The advisory closed all businesses deemed nonessential and urged residents to remain in their homes as much as possible, avoiding all unnecessary interactions.
Bars and restaurants offering takeout and delivery are considered essential services and are therefore exempt under the stay-at-home advisory. Some remain open for business, while others have decided that doing so is not a viable option (financially or from a public health perspective).
Those that remain open may soon be able to sell beer and wine with takeout orders, something most other New England states (and other states elsewhere in the country) have already enacted.
Grocery stores also remain open but must implement various social distancing measures.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has already begun to devastate the bar and restaurant industry, in Boston and elsewhere. Restaurant owners are struggling to make payroll and pay rent (despite some help from the state legislature); vulnerable restaurant workers are struggling to feed their families and pay bills.
Baker’s latest announcement follows a March 29 announcement from President Trump extending nationwide social distancing guidelines until April 30.
• COVID-19 Coverage on Eater [EBOS]
General Takeout and Delivery
- The Eater Boston Team’s 2020 Top Delivery and Takeout Standbys
- The Eater Boston Team’s 2019 Top Delivery and Takeout Standbys
- How to Have a Great Takeout Picnic in Boston
- Where to Order Delivery and Takeout Around Boston While Restaurants Can’t Allow Dine-In
- How to Eat at Eater 38 Restaurants That Are Still Open in Boston
- These Boston-Area Restaurants Are Delivering (Booze-Free) Cocktail Kits
- The Best Things the Eater Boston Team Ate and Drank (at Home) This Week
- A Guide to Takeout and Delivery Pop-Ups Around Boston
- Takeout and Delivery by Neighborhood (Stay Tuned for More) 10
- Takeout and Delivery by Dish/Theme (Stay Tuned for More) 10
Cooking and Learning at Home
- The Boston-Area Grocery Guide for Safe Shopping, Delivery Services, and More
- A Guide to Boston’s Best Restaurant Cookbooks
- A Roundup of Virtual Food Events, Updated Weekly
- Learn All About Booze Online From Boston-Area Experts
- Preorder the Eventide Cookbook, a Must-Read for Spring 2020
- Eater at Home: Basics for the Home Cook and Lots More
How to Support Local Restaurants and Workers Right Now
- How to Support Boston Restaurant Workers With Venmo Tips, Gift Card Purchases, and More
- You Can’t Eat in Restaurants Right Now, But You Can Buy Their Awesome Merch
- How to Support Boston’s Black-Owned Restaurants
- How to Help: A Guide to Local Organizations Fighting Food Insecurity
- Prepare for Chilly Outdoor Dining With Restaurant-Branded Hoodies, Hats, and Blankets
How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Industry Nationwide
- By the Numbers: COVID-19’s Devastating Effect on the Restaurant Industry
- Restaurants Are Fucked — Unless They Get a Bailout
- As Restaurants Go, So Goes Everything Else
- What Restaurants Need Right Now to Actually Survive
- Restaurant Suppliers Are Opening Up to the Public to Keep Their Businesses Alive
- It’s No Longer Responsible to Dine Out at Restaurants, but What About Delivery and Takeout?
- If the Stimulus Package Fails Independent Restaurants, It Fails America
Massachusetts Restaurant News
- 3/13/20: Over 60 Local Restaurants, a Food Hall, and a Casino Voluntarily Closed Amid Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
- 3/15/20: Nightly Curfew and Reduced Capacities Mandated for Boston Restaurants and Bars to Slow Coronavirus Spread
- 3/15/20: All MA Restaurants and Bars Will Shut Down for Three Weeks, Except for Takeout and Delivery
- 3/18/20: Some MA Restaurants Can Defer Meals Taxes Until June
- 3/19/20: NH Restaurants Can Temporarily Sell Beer and Wine With Takeout — But MA Restaurants Still Can’t
- 3/23/20: Restaurant Delivery and Takeout Can Continue Through MA Stay-at-Home Advisory
- 3/23/20: Cambridge Is Partnering With Local Restaurants to Help Feed Homeless People
- 3/27/20: Harvard Agrees to Compensate Furloughed Contract Dining and Catering Workers
- 3/30/20: Boston-Area Cities, Towns, and Restaurants Are Moving Away From Takeout Service
- 4/3/20: MA Bars and Restaurants Can Now Sell Beer and Wine With Takeout and Delivery Orders
- 4/13/20: MA Tightens Grocery Store Restrictions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
- 4/16/20: Boston Restaurants Can’t Sell Groceries, According to City Inspectors
- 4/28/20: MA Restaurant Closure (Except for Takeout and Delivery) Will Continue Through May 18
- 5/5/20: The Boston City Council Will Consider Temporary Caps on Delivery Commission Fees for Apps
- 5/5/20: Legal Sea Foods Is Suing Its Insurer for Denying Its Coronavirus Claim
- 5/6/20: Two New England Restaurateurs Have Been Charged With Defrauding the Paycheck Protection Plan
- 5/11/20: Rude Customers Are Forcing Food Business Owners to Reevaluate Their Plans
- 5/18/20: Mass. Restaurants Will Remain Closed for Dine-In Service Until at Least the Second Week of June
- 5/20/20: Restaurants Have Begun to Reopen, at Least for Outdoor Service, in Some New England States
- 5/26/20: South End Restaurant Temporarily Closes Due to Owner’s COVID-19 Diagnosis
- 5/26/20: The Boston Licensing Board Is Making It Easier for Restaurants to Create Outdoor Dining Spaces
- 5/29/20: Massachusetts Restaurants Could Begin to Reopen for Outdoor Dining as Soon as June 8
- 6/4/20: Here Are Some Boston-Area Restaurants Ready to Open Their Patios Next Week, If Allowed
- 6/6/20: Massachusetts Restaurants Can Officially Reopen for Outdoor Dining on Monday, June 8
- 6/15/20: Boston Restaurants Pivot to New Business Models as the Pandemic Continues
- 6/18/20: While Massachusetts Waits, the Rest of New England Reopens Dining Rooms
- 6/22/20: Ready or Not, Massachusetts Restarts Indoor Dining Today
- 6/23/20: Jamaica Mi Hungry Is Expanding During the Pandemic
- 7/2/20: The Massachusetts Senate Continues to Ignore the Restaurant Relief Act
- 7/7/20: Massachusetts Package Stores Support Restaurant Relief — But Not If It Threatens Package Stores
- 7/13/20: Restaurants Are Officially Open for Business in Boston, but Some Are Opting Out
- 7/21/20: Massachusetts Bars and Restaurants Can Finally Sell Cocktails to Go (for Now)
- 8/7/20: Charlie Baker Is Stepping up Enforcement of the Requirement That Restaurants Accompany Booze With Food
- 8/12/20: Boston Licensing Board to Reprimand Beer Gardens for Non-Compliance With Social Distance Regulations
- 9/2/20: Cambridge’s Commonwealth Will ‘Hibernate’ for the Duration of the Pandemic
- 9/22/20: Bintimani Is a Pillar in Boston’s West African Dining Scene. Now It’s Facing Eviction.
- How New Local Restaurants Are Making It Work (Stay Tuned for More) 3
The Wider Effects on Massachusetts Restaurants
- Massachusetts Could Require Insurance Companies to Cover Business Losses Caused by COVID-19
- Massachusetts Restaurant Owners Say They Can’t Get By on Takeout and Delivery Alone
- Massachusetts Restaurant Owners Need Relief Now, and They’re Asking for It
- Expedited Unemployment Processing Doesn’t Help Undocumented Food-Service Workers in Massachusetts
- Boston Restaurants Are Struggling to Stay Afloat During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Boston’s Chinatown Needs Support
- Boston Food Trucks Are Struggling to Cope With the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Massachusetts Farmers Markets Will Be Different This Year
- Boston Restaurants Are Experimenting With Zoom and FaceTime to Recreate Dining Out Vibes
- Massachusetts Distillers Want to Deliver During the Pandemic
- Massachusetts Restaurants Probably Won’t Reopen by May 18 — and Probably Shouldn’t
- What Will Dining Out Look Like When Massachusetts Restaurants Reopen?
- Restaurants in New England’s Tourism Hot Spots Are Bracing for COVID-19’s Impact on Peak Season
- Organizers in Greater Boston Are Setting Up Community Fridges to Help Feed Their Neighbors
- A List of Boston Restaurants Still In Hibernation for the Winter
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