The Massachusetts Ban on Dine-In Operations will be in Effect at 12:00am on Tuesday March 17th

Q. I have heard conflicting dates, how long will the on-premises ban be in effect for?
A. The on-premises ban is in effect through April 5, 2020.

Q. Can I allow less than 25 people to gather in my restaurant?
A. No. Although the public gathering threshold is 25 people, restaurants are prohibited from doing any in-house dining.

Q. Can I serve customers on my patio?
A. No, patio restrictions are also in effect.

Q. Can I sell alcohol as delivery or takeout to my customers?
A. Currently No. The ABCC issued an advisory suspending all on-premises alcohol sales through April 5. Click here for the ABCC Advisory . The MRA has recommended allowing certain alcohol sales to be allowed as part of a take-out package.

Q. Do you have any information about the unemployment process?
A. The Commonwealth of MA has the following resources:

UI pamphlets available in multiple languages:

Q. Will business interruption insurance kick in?
A. Although the Commonwealth has mandated that there would be no on-premise business, each individual policy will determine whether your business would be eligible for a claim. It is recommended that you reach out to your personal broker for clarification on your eligibility.  

Legislative Intervention
  • Governor Baker filed emergency legislation waiving the one-week waiting period for any person making a claim for unemployment benefits who has become separated from work as a result of any circumstance relating to or resulting from the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus or “COVID-19” or the effects of the Governor’s March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency.
  • Governor Baker and Legislative Leadership were meeting at 4:00PM to discuss additional measures. It is our understanding that there will be additional bills filed to help in the short-term.
Small Business Recovery Loan Fund
  • The Baker-Polito Administration announced economic support for small businesses with a $10 million loan fund to provide financial relief to those that have been affected by COVID-19.
  • Will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has capitalized the fund and will administer it.
  • How to Apply:
  • Please complete the application found on MGCC’s website.
  • Completed applications can be sent via email to with the subject line “2020 Small Business Recovery Loan Fund”.
  • MGCC can be reached by email:

Update from Washington DC
  • The White House's coronavirus task force announced tougher guidelines on Monday to help slow the spread of the disease, including limiting social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • The President said he does not currently plan to announce a national quarantine, but those could apply to certain coronavirus hotspots.

National Restaurant Association Alert
The House recently and overwhelmingly passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which was supported by the President. Given the unique nature and magnitude of this crisis, as well as the expedited timeframe, there is extremely limited opportunity to make changes to the legislation and the Senate is expected to vote on it as soon as later today (Monday). Click here for this campaign.

Please see all of the latest COVID-19 updates regarding the impact on the restaurant industry on our website homepage here .
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
160 East Main Street, Suite 2, Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 303-9905