Yarmouth COVID-19 Re-Opening Guidelines
As 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 April 27, 2021 the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10th and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29th and August 1st
Effective Monday, May 10th:
Large venues such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks currently open as part of Phase 4, Step 1 at 12% will be permitted to increase capacity to 25%.
The Commonwealth will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries including amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks that will be permitted to operate at a 50% capacity after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place with staggered starts after submitting safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.
Youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high risk sports.
Singing will also be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses.
Effective May 29th:
Subject to public health and vaccination data, gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.
Subject to public health and vaccination data, additional Phase 4, Step 2 industries will be permitted to open including:
- Street festivals, parades and agricultural festivals, at 50% of their previous capacity and after submitting safety plans to the local board of health.
- Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90 minute limit and no dance floors.
Subject to public health and vaccination data, the restaurant guidance will be updated to eliminate the requirement that food be served with alcohol and to increase the maximum table size to 10.
Effective August 1st:
Subject to public health and vaccination data, remaining industries will be permitted to open including:
- Dance clubs, and nightclubs
- Saunas, hot-tubs, steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs and other facilities
- Indoor water parks
- Ball pits
All industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries, with businesses encouraged to continue following best practices. The gathering limit will be rescinded.
Depending on vaccine distribution and public health data, the Administration may consider re-evaluating the August 1st date.
The Department of Public Health will also continue to issue guidance as needed, including guidance to still require masks indoors.
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
- 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.
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.
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
- COVID-19 Order No. 43 - Phase III
- Phase III Step 1 Safety Standards and Checklist: Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
- Phase III Step 1 Safety Standards and Checklist: Museums and Cultural and Historical Facilities and Guided Tours
- Phase III Step 1 Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor and Outdoor Events
- Phase III Step 1 Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor Recreation
- Phase III Step 1 Safety Standards and Checklist: Theaters and Performance Venues
- Phase III Step 1 Guidance on Reopening Health and Human Services
- Phase III Step 1 Outdoor Recreation (EEA)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
- Yarmouth Board of Selectmen Outdoor Dining and Alcohol Policies (6/9)
- Application for Temporary Outdoor Dining and Alcohol (6/9)
- Town Administrator Letter to the Business Community (5/22)
- Town Staff have published guidance on relevant zoning opportunities in Yarmouth that may be helpful to utilize during the re-opening process.
- Yarmouth Board of Selectmen Letter Regarding Regulatory Relief for Businesses (5/19)
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.
- Visit the Mass Re-Opening Webpage: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts
- View the full report: https://www.mass.gov/doc/reopening-massachusetts-may-18-2020/download
- Guidance for specific business sectors: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-when-can-my-business-reopen
- Mass Essential Services FAQs
The Baker-Polito Administration has announced details regarding Phase II of Massachusetts Re-Opening. The start date of Phase II is June 8, 2020.
- Baker-Polito Administration Executive Order Regarding Phase II of Massachusetts Re-Opening (6/1/2020)
- Governor Charlie Baker issued an Executive Order that provides a detailed list of businesses and activities that fall into Phases II, III, and IV of the Commonwealth’s Re-Opening Plan. The Order also permits all Phase II enterprises, including retail, to begin preparations to safely resume operation in advance of the start of the second phase. In addition to the retail sector, the Executive Order details further requirements for the safe resumption of amateur youth and adult sports and outdoor dining.
- Executive Order Press Release
- Safety Standards and Checklists for Restaurants
- Safety Standards and Checklists for Lodging Facilities
- Safety Standards and Checklist for Retail Businesses
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.
Other Re-Opening Resources
- Cape Cod Task Force Re-Opening Cape Cod Website
- Information on the State’s Re-Opening Advisory Board
- Information on the Barnstable County Re-Opening Task Force and how to submit comments to them
- Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces
- COVID-19 Regulations Enforcement Guidance
- Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Statement Regarding Summer 2020
- Restaurant Re-Opening Guide from the National Restaurant Association
- Small Business Re-Opening Playbook from the US Chamber of Commerce
- Outdoor Recreation Re-Opening Guidance
- The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment is offering appointments to help businesses with re-opening safety protocols.
Protective Supplies Resources
- Town of Yarmouth Contact: Kyle Pedicini, Economic Development Coordinator, KPedicini@yarmouth.ma.us 508-398-2231 x1653