Updated November 19, 2020
Stay home orders are changing, depending on the coronavirus’ community spread. Governors are redefining guidelines and policies for group gatherings in each state. To help keep track of what the rules are, we are listing them, organized by state, here. We also have a member support article about operations in each state’s municipal offices, and what to do if the clerk’s office is closed.
Please remember, safety is paramount. Social distancing rules continue. When conducting marriages, officiants are working and therefore must wear a face covering. See our 8 Things to Do article on performing marriages during the pandemic. And, be sure to take the training certification, COVID-19 Best Practices for Marriage Officiants.
Remember: Social distancing guidelines are 6 feet apart AND (not or) wear a mask. CDC guidelines say masks shall always be worn indoors. Outdoors, masks may be removed if sparsely populated 15+ feet apart. Private gatherings (e.g. backyard celebrations) don’t have the structure of a public venue, and there has been more spread at these events. That means, small weddings have a greater likelihood of being spreader-events. Heed the warnings.
- Private party or backyard gatherings are limited to 10 people, whether indoors or outdoors
- Commercial event venues will be limited to 25 people indoor, 50 people outdoor
- Masks or cloth face coverings that cover a person’s nose and mouth are required to be worn when in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, whether indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition.
- Travel should be limited between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am
Effective September 14, 2020, fines will be issued for breaking COVID-related restrictions:
– $100 for mask violations, $500 for organizing an event that violates size restrictions, and $250 for attending such an event.
On September 25, 2020 Governor DeSantis removed all state issued restrictions on bar or restaurant capacity. Check city and county restrictions on both capacity and mask requirements.
- All people should wear masks in both indoor and outdoor environments.
- Senior citizens and the immunocompromised should avoid crowds and limit exposure.
Since August 5, 2020, the state of Maine is operating under Phase 2 of the large gathering guidelines.
- Governor Mills said gatherings larger than 50 people indoors, and 100 outdoors, remain prohibited. Anyone entering the state must self-quarantine for 14 days or receive testing within 72 hours. Residents of Vermont and New Hampshire are exempt.
- The state has also issued specific guidelines for large gatherings.
- A statewide mask mandate was issued on May 1, 2020 “in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
Because of increasing coronavirus cases, Governor Baker renewed stay at home orders and announced new restrictions that go into effect November 6, 2020. This map of the state shows community spread. Current restrictions are now being enforced, and fines may be applied for non-compliance.
- 10 people maximum for indoor events. $500/per person over the limit.
- 25 people maximum for outdoor gatherings. $500/per person over the limit
- Mask mandate for everyone over the age of 5 in a public space, even if more than six feet apart. $300 fine/violation.
- Face coverings are required for all present at any event if people from more than one household, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability. This includes private backyard functions as well as public venues.
- Travelers entering the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from identified states must quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative test. More info here. $500 fine for violations.
- On June 15, 2020, Governor Sununu removed the previous limits on group gatherings. There are no longer any statewide size limits with participants advised to follow appropriate guidelines and local ordinances. Some municipalities have additional restrictions.
- The state’s Wedding Guidelines include links to additional gathering information.
- Face-coverings are required at “scheduled gatherings of 100 or more people,” unless attendees are seated and spaced 6 feet apart. When standing, moving about, entering and exiting masks must be worn.
Effective November 14, 2020, all gatherings of people from different households is banned; this includes both indoor and outdoor groups. Officiants may perform a marriage ceremony, outdoors preferred.
- More officiant related support on JPus’ coronavirus landing page
- Be a part of the coronavirus-management conversation with fellow officiants in JPus’ members-only Facebook group
- Follow JPus’ Facebook page for related news and updates
- Additional professional development articles in Member Support
- More education and training for marriage officiants