On Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a three-week suspension of school operations for educational purposes at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth beginning Tuesday, March 17, and a series of new guidance and legislation in response to COVID-19.

Read the full announcement here, or see video below.

Governor Charlie Baker said, “Our administration is taking these rapid steps to protect the health and safety of our residents to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We know that a lot of the measures we are putting into place, including mandatory school closures and prohibiting gatherings of 25 people or more, will cause disruption in people’s day to day lives. With the steps we are taking today, we can ensure residents can still access key state services while taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “The legislation our administration is filing will help ease burdens on cities and towns regarding municipal governance as they work to keep their residents safe. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to swiftly enact these bills to help provide our cities and towns with relief.”

Among the bills and guidance that Governor Baker outlined include the following:

Gatherings & Restaurants: Governor Baker issued an emergency order limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6. The full order is available here.

Boston Marathon: Governor Baker also filed legislation designating September 14, 2020 as a legal holiday to support the rescheduled 2020 Boston Marathon. Earlier this week, Governor Baker joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and marathon officials to announce that the Boston Marathon was being rescheduled from April 20, 2020 to September.

The Administration will continue to update the public on further developments and individuals are encouraged to consult both the Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for the most up to date information.

The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available at mass.gov/COVID19.