Yarmouth COVID-19 Re-Opening Guidelines

Yarmouth Town Seal ImageAs we work together as a Town, region and country to re-open our communities safely and effectively, we will offer guidance here for our businesses and citizens to better understand the current status of re-opening as well as provide guidelines to ensure we continue on a safe and common path together. 

On February 25, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts would advance to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and also announced its plan to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22.

Phase III, Step 2 (3/1):

  • Indoor performance venues such as concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with no more than 500 persons
  • Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, obstacle courses) will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity
  • Capacity limits across all sectors with capacity limits will be raised to 50% and exclude employees
  • Restaurants will no longer have a percent capacity limit and will be permitted to host musical performances; six-foot social distancing, limits of six people per table and 90 minute limits remain in place

Phase IV (3/22):

Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following industries will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):

  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Ballparks

Current Phase: Phase III, Step 1 (as of December 13, 2020)

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, Massachusetts will implement temporary capacity limits to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise. Businesses must adhere to the following capacity limitations. The revised limits below supersede existing limits in the Phase 3, Step 1 Sector-Specific Protocols. Except for the specified adjustments to capacity limitations, all other terms of COVID-19 gatherings order (including exceptions) and all sector-specific workplace safety rules remain unchanged. These limits will be lifted as of 5:00 a.m. on February 8, 2021. Please see the sector-specific protocols for updated limits. Sector-Specific Protocols

Lifting 25% Capacity Restriction – This order will expire on February 8th at 5:00 AM

-- All businesses in the list below, currently limited to 25% capacity, will return to 40% capacity, as previously allowed (industry guidance effective in December 2020 will apply)

  • Arcades and Recreational Businesses
  • Driving and Flight Schools
  • Gyms/Health Clubs
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Retail
  • Offices
  • Places of Worship
  • Lodging (common areas)
  • Golf (indoor areas)
  • Movie theaters (no more than 50 people per theater)

-- Restaurants will now be limited to 40% of their seated capacity, but as under the 25% capacity rule, employees will not count toward the limit

-- Close Contact Personal Services will now be limited to 40% capacity, but as under the 25% capacity rule, employees will be not count toward the limit

-- A limit of 5 people per 1000 sq. feet applies for smaller businesses without an available fire occupancy capacity

-- There continues to be no % capacity limits on manufacturing, construction, and laboratories—these sectors have never had capacity limits

Beginning on December 26, 2020, Massachusetts will implement temporary capacity limits to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise. Businesses must adhere to certain capacity limitations until January 24, 2021 (unless further extended by the Governor). For more information, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/temporary-capacity-and-gathering-limits

On December 8, 2020 the Baker-Polito Administration announced that effective Sunday, December 13th, all communities in Massachusetts will return to Step 1 of Phase 3, of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. This will reduce indoor capacities across a broad range of sectors of the economy and tighten several other workplace restrictions.

Order Rolling Massachusetts back to Phase III, Step 1 

Revised Gathering Order

On September 29th, 
Governor Baker announced that lower risk communities may advance to Step 2 of Phase III of the Massachusetts re-opening plan on Monday October 5th. The Town of Yarmouth is considered a lower risk community as of 9/29/20.

On September 22nd Governor Baker announced revised re-opening standards for restaurants. These revisions allow for bar seating to re-open on 9/28 (with proper social distancing in place) and expand the limit on group sizes from 6 to 10 people for indoor and outdoor dining.

On September 10th Governor Baker released an executive order making certain MA Re-Opening Phase III adjustments. This order extends the Governor’s previously announced outdoor dining provisions and allows for the re-opening of indoor and outdoor gaming arcades.

On August 7th the Baker-Polito Administration announced a set of initiatives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. 

These initiatives include reducing the limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people, and indefinitely postponing the implementation of step two of Phase III of Massachusetts’s re-opening plan.

·         Revised Gatherings Order

·         Updated Restaurant Guidance

Massachusetts Re-Opening Update (July 2)

Governor Charlie Baker announced that Phase III of the Massachusetts re-opening will start on Monday, June 22nd. Businesses now permitted to re-open include gyms, movie theaters and museums (with restrictions).  For a full list of businesses permitted to re-open in Phase III, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen

Phase III Resources

Yarmouth Phased Re-Opening Guidance (Updated June 10)

On June 6 the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Phase II of the Massachusetts re-opening will commence on Monday June 8. Restaurants and retail stores will be permitted to re-open with restrictions. For a full list of businesses permitted to re-open in Phase II, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen

At their June 9, 2020 meeting, the Yarmouth Board of Selectmen adopted two important policies to facilitate reopening efforts for businesses in Yarmouth.  The first policy authorizes the Building Commissioner to approve temporary zoning relief which would ordinarily require the traditional zoning appeal process.  The second policy authorizes the Town Administrator to grant approval to extend the premises for outdoor alcohol service.  Ordinarily, this would require Selectmen and ABCC action.

Restaurants in Yarmouth seeking to temporarily expand outdoor seating with or without outdoor alcohol service must submit an application to the Building Department via email to rfallon@yarmouth.ma.us. Applications must include submittal requirements and comply with the general provisions for outdoor seating listed on the application.

All applications shall undergo Staff Review from the following departments: Health, Fire, Police, Licensing and other departments as applicable. Reviews will be expedited to the maximum extent feasible. The Building Commissioner and the Town Administrator, as authorized by the Board of Selectmen, may impose conditions as they see fit to ensure health and public safety.

Businesses seeking to temporarily display outdoor retail sales must submit an application to the Building Department.

If you have any questions regarding the re-opening process please contact Kyle Pedicini, Town of Yarmouth Economic Development Coordinator, at KPedicini@yarmouth.ma.us.

On May 18 the Baker-Polito Administration announced a comprehensive four-phase plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced details regarding Phase II of Massachusetts Re-Opening. The start date of Phase II is June 8, 2020.

Business Requirements for Re-Opening

Information to help businesses meet the self-certification requirement to reopen. All businesses must meet these requirements before reopening. Businesses operating to provide Essential Services, as defined in the Governor’s March 23, 2020 Executive Order, updated on March 31, April 28 and May 15, may remain open and have until May 25, 2020 to comply with these mandatory safety standards.

  • All businesses and activities, as they reopen, must meet mandatory minimum safety standards.
  • Massachusetts businesses must develop a written control plan outlining how its workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period. This template may be filled out to meet that requirement. Control plans do not need to be submitted for approval but must be kept on premise and made available in the case of an inspection or outbreak.
  • Customer facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post the compliance attestation poster in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors.
  • Posters must be displayed within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning/disinfecting.

Mass Re-Opening Phases (Click to View Chart)

Colored chart for Phased Reopening Guidance

Business Re-Opening Phases (Click to View Chart)

Colored chart for Mass Re-Opening Guidance