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COVID-19 Updates for the U.S. Retail and Real Estate Industry

With numerous 'states of emergency' being declared across the country – providing governors and their staff flexibility to react to the constantly changing conditions resulting from COVID-19 – this page summarizes the actions taken by states and localities.

As this situation is rapidly evolving, we encourage you to visit the web pages of the state government that you are researching or to contact your governors’ offices or local government agencies


Jan. 21: Gov. Ivey issued her twenty-second supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This order extends until Friday, March 5, 2021, at 5:00 pm.


Dec. 17: Governor Dunleavey issued an extension to an order that provides guidelines for residents and non-residents traveling into Alaska. All travelers arriving in Alaska, including residents, must submit a test result taken with 72 hours of departure into the state’s portal. The test must be negative to enter the state. This order is effective until January 15, 2021.


Jan. 5: Gov. Ducey announced an additional $2 million to further help local restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining, protect patrons and staff, and limit the spread of COVID-19.


Feb. 24: The Department of Health updated its order related to indoor venues for commercial, community, civic, public or leisure events.  The amended order requires the venue to submit a plan to the state as far in advance of the event as possible for timely review. The host venue is responsible for compliance with the plan and will be held accountable. Lack of compliance and investigation of complaints may result in enforcement of criminal or civil penalties. The order exempts events that take place with 100 or fewer people.


Jan. 27: Gov. Newsom announced an agreement to extend the eviction moratorium in California through June 30, 2021 – protecting tenants and small landlords.


Feb. 18: Gov. Polis declared a state of emergency that has been extended until March 17 to ensure resources are available to combat COVID-19. The order directs the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to engage in emergency rulemaking to ensure workers in food handling, hospitality, child care, health care, and education can get paid sick leave to miss work if they exhibit flu-like symptoms and have to miss work awaiting testing results for COVID-19. For workers who test positive and lack access to paid leave, the Governor is directing CDLE to identify additional supports and wage replacement such as access to unemployment insurance. This order has been amended adding a section on state procurement and a section related to overflow patient facilities, and has extended by EO 2020-32. EO 2020-284 amends the order to transfer money from the State Emergency Reserve to the Disaster Emergency Fund to cover the remaining December costs for testing and vaccine distribution due to a delay in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements.

Feb. 9: Gov. Polis has extended the face coverings in public places order until March 5.


Feb. 9: Gov. Lamont signed an executive order that extends nearly all the COVID-19 executive orders that are currently in effect through April 19, 2021. The eviction moratorium has been amended and extended through the duration of the public health emergency. These orders were original in effect for the duration of the declared state of emergency.


Feb. 24: Gov. Carney signed an order that allowed gyms and fitness centers to increase group class sizes to 15 people.

District of Columbia

Jan. 21: Mayor Bowser announced that beginning January 22 all restaurants may allow indoor dining capped at 25% occupancy or no more than 250 people, whichever is fewer. More guidance on other paused activities is forthcoming.


Dec. 2: Gov. DeSantis has extended Phase 3. He announced that he does not plan to impose any additional restrictions on businesses.


Dec. 31: Gov. Kemp extended ( his previous Empowering a Healthy Georgia order through January 15. No new mitigation measures were implemented. 


Dec. 17: Gov. Ige announced that the state’s mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers entering the state and traveling between counties will be reduced from 14 to 10 days. This order is effective until February 21, 2021.


Feb. 5: Gov. Little announced that statewide metrics justify returning to Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds plan. Gatherings should be limited to 50 or fewer people. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs should continue to operate with distanced seating only. Everyone, including businesses, should follow physical distancing and sanitation recommendations. Large events, such as trade shows, weddings, and sporting venues with more than 50 people, may receive an exemption if the organizer submits an attestation to the local public health district confirming the event will follow necessary physical distancing and hygiene protocols as outlined in their safe operations plan.


Feb. 10: For state information click here. In addition, the City of Chicago announced a roadmap for the continued easing of COVID-19 regulations, particularly as they relate to indoor dining. Under this plan, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and events can increase to the lesser of 25% or 50 people per room or floor as of February 11. The easing of additional regulations will be possible once specific metrics are met as outlined here.


Dec. 12: Gov. Holcomb issued an order extending all COVID-19 related executive orders, including the face covering mandate.


Jan. 15: Gov. Reynolds issued a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that extends the previous order until February 6. When people are in an indoor public space, and unable to social distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required to be worn; gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited if social distancing cannot be maintained; restaurants may continue to open fully pursuant to safety protocols including placing tables 6 feet apart, limiting party size to 8 people, and requiring the wearing of masks when not seated; malls may continue to open fully however play areas must remain closed; theaters and performance venues may continue to open fully if at least 6 feet of distance is between each group or individual when seated.


Jan. 15: Covid information for businesses and employers is available at the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment website.


Jan. 15: The Reopening Kentucky website contains the latest information regarding restrictions.


Feb. 5: Gov. Reeves has extended the state’s facemask order to be effective until March 3.


Feb. 10: Gov. Mills announced a proposed solution to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) tax conformity issue that would extend full state tax relief to more than 99% of Maine businesses that received PPP. The proposal would match the Federal government’s double benefit on the first $1 million of PPP received, an approach that would result in full tax relief for Maine’s small businesses who need it most and partial relief to those Maine businesses that received more than $1 million in PPP. The proposal seeks to strike a middle ground between those who oppose conforming to the Federal government’s double benefit and those who support full conformity while ensuring that tax relief is delivered to Maine’s most vulnerable businesses.


Feb. 5: Bars and restaurants are no longer be required to close at 10 pm. The statewide order for 50% indoor capacity at restaurants will remain in place.

Dec. 14: Gov. Hogan announced a series of additional COVID-19 health and economic relief initiatives to help struggling Maryland small businesses. The governor has issued an executive order to prevent small businesses from facing major increases in their unemployment taxes. An employer’s 2021 tax rate will be calculated based on their non-pandemic experience by excluding the 2020 fiscal year, and instead by using the last three fiscal years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. This order will provide relief for businesses already operating on razor-thin margins, and help keep more people on their payrolls. To provide additional economic relief, the governor has directed the Department of Commerce to forgive the $75 million in emergency loans that the state provided to businesses during the first round of economic relief in March and convert them all to grants.

Dec. 12: Gov. Hogan issued an order that prohibits repossessions, foreclosure initiations, and commercial evictions. The Commissioner of Financial Regulation will suspend the operation of the Notice to Intent to Foreclose Electronic System. This would be in place until at least January 31, 2021. This measure also requires that before filing an intent to foreclose action, the servicer has sent a notice to the borrower that they can request a forbearance on their loan.


Feb. 5: Gov. Baker announced that effective February 8, capacity limits for restaurants, close contact personal services, theaters, casinos, office spaces, brick-and-mortar retailers, libraries, arcades, gyms, museums, and other businesses will be increased to 40%.


Jan. 29: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an order to allow for indoor dining at restaurants with certain requirements; concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums; personal services requiring mask removal; and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households. Effective February 1, restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. Establishments must close by 10 pm. Facemasks must still be worn in most public settings. The order continues to temporarily pause indoor contact sports and other venues and activities where participants have close physical contacts and are not consistently masked, like water parks. However, as of January 22, stadiums can allow up to 500 people at venues that seat over 10,000 people and stadiums that seat less than 10,000 are allowed to be at 20% capacity, up to 250 people.


Feb. 16: Gov. Walz issued an order that takes steps to further reopen Minnesota’s economy safely, including: Increasing the “not to exceed” capacity in restaurants to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 50%. Increasing indoor entertainment “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25%. Increasing private events and celebrations “not to exceed” capacity to 50, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25. Increasing gym and pool “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving maximum capacity at 25%, and reducing distancing requirement to 6 feet. Allowing restaurants to stay open until 11PM.


Jan. 20: Gatherings of more than 10 people indoor and more than 50 people outdoors are still prohibited. Facemasks are required statewide inside school buildings and inside and outside of campuses. All businesses and nonprofits must limit capacity to 75%; in addition to this limit, restaurants and bars must limit parties to 10 people, screen customers before entry, only serve alcohol to seated customers and stop serving alcohol between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am for on-site consumption. Movie theaters must limit capacity to 50%. Close contact and personal care services must require customers to wear masks. Additional safety protocols for sports complexes, reception halls, conference centers, indoor and outdoor arenas, K-12 extracurricular activities, and college and university stadiums must be followed. Refer to order. Healthcare facilities must reserve at least 10% capacity for treatment of COVID patients in order to perform elective procedures.  This order has been extended until February 3. In addition, a facemask order has been implemented for certain counties until February 3.


Jan. 15: Information regarding restrictions and the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan is available here.


Feb. 16: Gov. Gianforte announced a directive that rescinds and replaces all prior directives implementing Executive Order 2-2021, which the governor issued on January 13, 2021. The new directive allows the statewide mask mandate to expire. Local jurisdictions may still choose to implement their own mask requirements. Governor Gianforte emphasized how providing incentives and encouraging personal responsibility are more effective than imposing impractical, unenforceable government mandates.


Feb. 5: The state will be in the Green (least restrictive) Zone through February 28. It has issued new Direct Health Measures to implement this change. All restrictions have been lifted.


Jan. 13: Gov. Sisolak announced that because community spread remains high and hospitals are strained, the current statewide pause will be extended 30 days. This means businesses will continue to operate at 25% capacity and/or the protocols that have been laid out for their industry.

New Hampshire

Jan. 19: Gov. Sununu issued an order providing industry-specific guidance for reopening. The order has been extended through March 26.

New Jersey

Feb. 24: Gov. Murphy signed an order stating that the number of individuals at indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve religious services, shall be limited to 50% of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, but regardless of the capacity of the room, such limit shall never be smaller than 10 persons. Effective March 1, sports and entertainment venues, including concert venues and stadiums, with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or greater, that have opened their indoor spaces to the public may permit a number of patrons and/or members of the public totaling up to 10% of the stated maximum capacity of any room where such event is held. Such venues shall continue to follow all applicable requirements in any other Executive Order, Administrative Order, and/or Executive Directive, including, but not limited to, the requirements regarding mask-wearing. All attendees at the event are required to be 6 feet apart from other attendees at all times, except that individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together, but must be 6 feet away from all other groups or individuals in all directions.

Feb. 5: Gov. Murphy issued an order increasing capacity limits from 25% to 35% for restaurants, bars, food courts, entertainment businesses, personal care services businesses, and gyms. The Executive Order also lifts the 10:00 pm curfew for in-person indoor restaurant service, however, local officials may continue to regulate the hours of operation of indoor restaurant service and indoor operations of other non-essential businesses after 8:00 pm, as they have been able to since November 12. The prohibition on seating at indoor bar areas remains in effect.

New Mexico

Jan. 28: The Department of Health updated the Red to Green data on January 27. Colfax, Grant, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Sierra, Socorro, and Union counties are in the Yellow tier. Harding County is in the Green (least restrictive) tier. All other counties are in the Red (most restrictive) tier. The next update will be made on February 10.

New York

Feb. 16: Gov. Cuomo issued an order extending closing times for bars, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls, as well as other State Liquor Authority-licensed establishments, from 10PM to 11PM statewide.

Feb. 9: Gov. Cuomo announced that restaurants may reopen for indoor service early - on February 12 - in New York City. Capacity limits remain at 25% and all establishments must follow sector guidelines, including but limited to temperature screenings of employees and customers, implementing social distancing, and more.

North Carolina

Jan. 29: Gov. Cooper announced that he will extend the state's current reopening pause. The 10 pm to 5 am curfew and all other restrictions will remain in place until February 28. An executive order has been released to implement the announcement. He also extended an order authorizing the North Carolina ABC Commission to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption. Restaurants, bars, distillery permit holders, hotels, and private clubs are covered by the order.

North Dakota 

Jan. 27: Gov. Burgum announced that the entire state will move into the Green, or lower risk, level effective January 29. A low/green risk level increases the recommended occupancy limit for bars, restaurants, and gyms to 80%. Theaters may increase occupancy to 80%.


Jan. 29: Gov. DeWine announced a new plan for the state's current curfew. The Ohio Department of Health has recommended that Ohio's curfew be amended to 11 pm to 5 am when COVID-related hospital utilization drops below 3,500 for seven consecutive days. If hospital utilization subsequently drops below 3,000 for seven consecutive days, Ohio's curfew would be amended to 12 am to 5 am for at least two weeks. If hospitalizations drop below 2,500 for seven consecutive days, the Ohio Department of Health would recommend lifting the curfew.


Dec. 11: Gov. Stitt announced an updated executive order to implement additional statewide COVID-19 mitigation measures. Action steps include 1) limiting public gatherings to 50% capacity unless the local Health Department has granted an exception; and, 2) extending the rules for bars and restaurants, first implemented under Seventh Amended EO 2020-20. Tables must stay six feet apart unless separated by sanitized dividers, and restaurants and bars must close by 11:00 pm except for drive-thru or takeout.  The textual document is not yet available.  This was announced via a press release.


Jan. 29: Gov. Brown announced updates to county risk levels under the state's new public health framework: Effective through February 11, there will be 25 counties in the Extreme Risk level, two at High Risk, two at Moderate Risk, and seven at Lower Risk. The Governor also announced modifications to the guidance for indoor activities in Extreme Risk counties, which will take effect on January 29. These modifications allow for a maximum of six people indoors at facilities over 500 square feet (for all indoor activities except dining) with associated guidance for ongoing social distancing, cleaning protocols, and face coverings. For facilities smaller than 500 square feet, the modified guidance allows for 1:1 customer experiences, such as personal training.


Jan. 12: Philadelphia will ease and lift certain restrictions on businesses within the city on January 16. Indoor dining will be allowed to resume at 25% capacity. Theaters and performance spaces will be allowed with a cap on the total number of attendees, including staff, of 10 percent maximum occupancy. If the maximum occupancy is unknown, allow 10 persons per 1,000 square feet. Everyone in attendance must be masked, and no food or drink is allowed. Indoor catered events, senior day services at centers and daycares, and all indoor gatherings (including in the home) are still restricted.

Rhode Island

Feb. 16: Gov. Raimondo issued an order allowing for indoor public and private social gatherings to be limited to two households and outdoor public and private gatherings to be limited to three households. Venues of assembly, including concert halls and theaters may operate at 40% capacity. The order allows bar areas within restaurants to open with 4-person table limits and 90-minute time limits. Bar areas must close by 11:30PM.

South Carolina

Dec. 1: Gov. McMaster issued an order urging localities to implement facemask mandates. The order requires facemasks to be worn in all government buildings. The order mandates that restaurants, bars, and other establishments cannot sell alcohol from 11:00 pm to 10:00 am and prohibits congregation at bar areas. This measure restricts businesses, facilities, services, or other mass gatherings to 50% occupancy limit, or 250 people, whichever is less.

South Dakota

Dec. 18: Gov. Noem announced up to $345 million in additional grants for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jan. 19: Gov. Lee tweeted on January 19 that he will allow the mass gatherings limit to expire.


Dec. 7: Gov. Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) launched a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for front line workers at Texas small businesses. This program will help small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


Dec. 12: The Utah Department of Health guidance remains in effect.  


Feb. 23: Gov.  Scott announced an update to the State’s policy on gatherings, as the new travel quarantine policy (announced on February 19) went into effect. Effective today, people who are fully vaccinated may travel to Vermont and return from out-of-state travel without quarantine restrictions, once 14 days have passed from when they received their final dose. Additionally, people who meet this vaccination criterion may now gather with one other household at a time. Multi-household social gatherings indoors and outdoors in public and private spaces are prohibited for individuals who are not vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals or households may get together with one other vaccinated or non-vaccinated household at a time. Businesses and organizations remain unable to accommodate public multi-household social gatherings whether an individual is vaccinated or not.


Feb. 25: Gov. Ralph Northam is beginning to ease public health restrictions by taking steps to increase capacity limits in outdoor settings. The key changes in the Third Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two include: Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 25 people for outdoor settings while remaining at 10 persons for indoor settings. Entertainment venues: Outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate with up to 1,000 individuals or at 30 percent capacity, whichever is lower. If current trends continue, these venues may be able to operate at 30 percent capacity with no cap on the number of people permitted to attend starting in April. Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people. All entertainment venues were previously limited to a maximum of 250 individuals. Dining establishments: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol will be permitted until midnight, extended from 10:00 p.m. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms still must be closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m.  The state’s curfew will also be lifted.  This order is effective March 1.


Feb. 10: Gov. Inslee has signed Senate Bill 5061, which will increase minimum unemployment benefits for workers and provide significant tax relief for businesses over the next five years, to support recovery from the economic impacts of COVID shutdowns.

West Virginia 

Feb. 23: Gov. Justice signed Executive Order 6-21, increasing the capacity limit for all restaurants and bars to 75%. This change applies only if social distancing can be maintained between groups that arrive and sit together. Bars may only increase capacity to the extent that they have physical seating for every patron. No standing room for people to congregate will be allowed. This change will be effective February 19. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing. It also raises the social gathering limit from 25 people to 75 people. This limitation applies only to any gathering of people for purely social purposes. The limitation does not apply to any activity, business, or entity that has been deemed essential, such as religious services, weddings, or group meetings, conferences, or other special events held for essential businesses and operations. Those partaking in such purely social gatherings must continue to social distance, wear face coverings, and follow all other applicable safety guidelines. At the direction of Governor Justice, the DHHR has amended its rules on capacity limitations for small businesses, retail stores, and grocery stores. For small businesses and retail stores, capacity will be permitted to increase from 2 people per 1,000 square feet to 4 people per 1,000 square feet. For grocery stores, capacity will be permitted to increase from 3 people per 1,000 square feet to 6 people per 1,000 square feet. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing.


Feb. 10: Gov. Evers extended the statewide facemask mandate for most public settings until March 20.


Feb. 16: The Department of Health has issued an order requiring all members of the public to wear a face covering when outside of their in any business, government facility, municipal buildings, healthcare facilities, and on any public transit including taxis and ride sharing services. This order excludes federal buildings. The order was extended again until February 28. Gov. Gordon announced that the State Health Officer has ordered restaurants, brew pubs, food courts, pubs, and the like to begin on-premise consumption on May 15 following strict protocols including but not limited to spacing tables 6 feet apart; providing hand sanitizer; having staff wear gloves when handling certain items; screening employees and more. The order allows gyms to reopen under strict protocols including limiting classes to 25 people. The order allows theaters, concert halls, music halls, and the like to reopen in a limited capacity, including limiting groups to 8 people, under strict protocols similar to food establishments.