Coronavirus: Gov. Baker Says No Public Gatherings Of More Than 250 People

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that most public gatherings of over 250 people are now prohibited in Massachusetts due to the spread of COVID-19.

"Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus, and by limiting large gatherings, we can further mitigate the spread of the disease," Gov. Baker said. "It is important to take these steps now to further protect the residents of the Commonwealth, and we will continue to encourage residents to maintain social distancing, and practice healthy personal hygiene to stop the spread of the virus."

The order takes effect immediately.

Read the full emergency order here

Baker said the gatherings were subject, but not limited to:

  • Community, civic, public, and leisure gatherings
  • Faith-based events
  • Sporting events with spectators
  • Concerts
  • Conventions
  • Fundraisers
  • Parades
  • Fairs
  • Festivals

The order does not apply to operations at:

  • Airports
  • Bus and train stations
  • Medical facilities
  • Libraries
  • Shopping malls and centers
  • Polling locations
  • Grocery or retail stores

The order also doesn't apply to restaurants, though Baker said restaurants should encourage social distancing whenever possible.

Baker also said it didn't apply to offices, factories, or government buildings where large number of people are present, but not normally within arms length of one another.

The order will stay in place until the state of emergency is taken out of effect, if it is not rescinded before that.

Officials reminded the public that, regardless of whether or not their event falls within the order's guidelines, they should practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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