With the governor’s mandatory early closing hours for some businesses now in place, the administration updated its rules for restaurants last week making clear that diners served before 9:30 p.m. can finish their food and drinks, but must be off the premises by 10 p.m.
The new guidance stems from the executive order Gov. Baker signed on Nov. 2 requiring certain businesses to close between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. as part of a strategy to blunt the rise in COVID-19 cases. The order was designed to work hand-in-hand with a stay-at-home advisory instructing people to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Both new guidelines took effect last Friday.
Baker said that restaurants would be allowed to continue offering food for take-out service, and the updated guidance for restaurants make that explicit. No food or beverages can be served to a table after 9:30 p.m., but restaurants can keep employees on premises during the mandatory closing period to provide food and non-alcoholic beverage to take-out or delivery. No alcohol can be served in any capacity during the mandatory closing period, the administration said.