Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness in Gloucester – What Visitors Need to Know

March 31, 2020 / Good to Know, In The News

Updated March 31, 2020

Discover Gloucester shares everyone’s concern regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our first priority is the health and safety of Gloucester’s visitors, residents and businesses. We are working with our partners in Gloucester and in the travel and tourism industry at large, to implement and communicate about best practices for keeping people healthy and not contributing to the spread of the virus. We will attempt to post updates regarding changes that will affect the visitor experience in Gloucester on a rolling basis. We anticipate event cancellations, postponements, programmatic adjustments, and policy changes based on recommendations from the medical and scientific community.

On March 31, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration has extended the state’s stay-at-home advisory and executive order requiring all non-essential businesses to close through May 4th and announced several updates related to the non-essential business emergency order, including adjustments to the “COVID-19 Essential Services” categories.  The new order mandates that “all businesses and organizations that do not provide ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’ close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public.”

Hotels are no longer included on the Governor’s list of essential services. According to the new directive, “hotels, motels, and short-term rentals may only be used for efforts related to fighting COVID-19, like front line health workers or individuals, or for Massachusetts residents who have been otherwise displaced from their residences.” For more information, please read the following document from the MA Department of Public Health, which offers further guidance.

Click here to read the full announcement from the Governor’s office.

Click here for the full list of categories of “COVID-19 Essential Services”.

Click here to read the Emergency Order.

Click here for the City of Gloucester’s updates.

On March 24, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon*. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. *As of March 31, 2020, the stay-at-home advisory has been extended to May 4, 2020.

Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.

Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery if they follow the social distancing protocols set forth in Department of Public Health guidance. On-premises consumption of food or drink is prohibited.

On March 10, the U.S. Travel Association issued a statement regarding Coronavirus that reads, in part, “Health and government officials have continually assured the public that healthy Americans can ‘confidently travel in this country.” While it’s critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it’s equally important to make calm, rational, and fact-based decisions.” Click here to read the complete statement.

Governor Charlie Baker has declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts to support the Commonwealth’s response to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Learn more at mass.gov.

For the latest information on COVID-19, including cases in Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.

For information on the national impact of COVID-19, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or review guidance for healthy travel habits from the CDC

The City of Gloucester is preparing in anticipation of the potential escalation of COVID-19 diagnoses. This work includes regular coordination with community partners and state agencies, departmental communication with staff, implementation of prevention strategies, and planning for continuity of services.