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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


Nov. 5: Gov. Ivey issued a supplemental order to amend the Safer at Home Order. This amended order removes emergency occupancy rates for retailers and entertainment venues, including theaters. It also provides that an exception to social-distancing is allowed for businesses if people are wearing masks and are separated by an impermeable barrier. The order maintains the mask requirement in public places, schools, colleges, and when interacting within six feet of other people. It also maintains sanitation guidelines on theaters and retailers. 


Nov. 17: Gov. Dunleavey issued an order suspending various sections of the Alaska administrative code and statutes. The order allows for curbside pickup of alcohol and delivery of beer and wine when included with an order of food being delivered by a licensed restaurant or eating establishment.

Nov. 13: Gov. Dunleavy issued a new Declaration of Public Health Disaster to manage the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in Alaska. The disaster declaration expires on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.


Nov. 11: Gov. Ducey has announced $7 million in funding from the CARES act to go toward small business relief. The funding includes $3 million for the Arizona Office of Tourism to put toward a strategic recovery plan, promoting safe meeting and business travel, and working with hotels, restaurants, attractions, and destination marketing organizations to help connect visitors to our rural, urban, and tribal communities and $1 million for the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide capital funding for Arizona small businesses and entrepreneurs, further encouraging economic development amid the pandemic.


Oct. 16: Gov.  Hutchinson issued an Executive Order to renew the disaster and public health emergency to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19. The order will expire after 60 days.


Nov. 16: Gov. Newsom has ordered an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This action will put 94.1% of Californians in 41 California counties in the most restrictive tier of reopening beginning November 17. Governor Newsom is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions. In the purple tier, indoor gatherings are prohibited, and outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of three households. Retail, including malls, is open with a 25% maximum capacity. Common areas and food courts are to be closed. All indoor theaters must close, Outdoor theaters may reopen with modifications. Indoor dining is also closed. Critical infrastructure remains open in all tiers.


Nov. 5: Gov. Polis directed that workers in critical businesses and critical government functions wear masks or face cloth coverings. This has been amended to allow employers and operators of places of public accommodation, and those authorized on their behalf shall have the discretion to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering. This order has been extended until December 12.


Nov. 11: Gov. Lamont announced restaurants can use tents and other structures enabling outdoor dining. Restaurants may use tents or "membrane-like structures" as long as they have adequate ventilation. The state highly recommends fans, vents, windows, and openings to ensure this, according to the Connecticut Restaurant Association. He also signed an Executive Order to extend the emergency declaration to February 9, 2021.


Nov. 18: Gov. Carney announced additional restrictions, which take effect on November 23: Indoor gatherings in homes must be capped at no more than 10 people. Indoor gatherings outside of homes must be limited to 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, up to a cap of 50 people. This includes all events, such as weddings, funerals, services in houses of worship, performances, political gatherings, and events in public spaces including fire halls. Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Up to 250 may be allowed with a plan approved by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). Restaurants must operate at no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for additional outdoor seating.

District of Columbia

Nov. 2: B 946 was signed by Mayor Bowser. This measure establishes the Business Support Grant program to provide eligible businesses financial support to aid in their recovery from the public health emergency. An eligible business can receive up to 15% of lost revenue over the 3-month period from April-June 2020. Businesses not able to open until Phase 3 or 4 of the ReOpenDC Plan, as well as businesses owned by individuals in marginalized communities will receive priority.


Nov. 5: Gov. DeSantis extended the state of emergency until January 2, 2021.


Nov. 16: Gov. Kemp has extended his previous Empowering a Healthy Georgia order. The order still does not require a statewide mask mandate but it does empower municipalities to impose a Local Option Face Covering Requirement with certain exceptions. The order requires that all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia practice social distancing and continue to ban gatherings of 50 people unless social distancing is maintained. This executive order allows local school boards to impose a face-covering requirement and does not require schools and school districts to comply with the ban of gatherings. This Executive Order states that all restaurants, dining rooms, or venues where food is served must implement measures that mitigate the exposure and spread of covid-19 among patrons and the workforce.


Nov. 17: Gov. Ige signed a supplementary emergency proclamation that extends and clarifies the statewide mask mandate. The 15th Covid-19 emergency proclamation also extends the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent until this proclamation expires on Dec. 31, 2020.


Nov. 16: Gov. Little signed a new statewide public health order rolling Idaho back into a modified Stage 2 of the Idaho Rebounds plan. Under the new statewide Stage 2 public health order: 1. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Physical distancing is required for all gatherings; 2. At-risk Idahoans should self-isolate; 3. All Idahoans are encouraged to telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations; 4. Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants continue to operate with patrons required to remain seated.


Nov. 20: Gov. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation in response to COVID-19. This has been extended again until December 13. He also issued an executive order that cancels all public and private gatherings of more than 1,000 people. This does not include normal work attendance. The Governor also issued an order that prevents the evictions of commercial or residential tenants unless that person poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other tenants or is in violation of a relevant building code or health ordinance. Sections, 1, 4, 5, and 6 of Executive Order 2020-30 are re-issued and extended through December 12, 2020. The Governor also announced additional COVID-19 resurgence mitigations starting November 20, 2020. All bars and restaurants must close at 11 pm and may reopen no earlier than 6 am the following day. All service must be outdoors, no indoor dining is permitted. Tables should be 6 feet apart. Tables may not exceed 6 people and reservations are required for each party. Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, are required to close. Outdoor activities must be capped at 25% capacity or less. All manufacturing employees must always wear face coverings unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes. Only manufacturing staff and key personnel are allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”). Finally, this order limits in-home gatherings to household members only.


Nov. 11: Gov. Holcomb announced that some coronavirus restrictions are being reinstated after several weeks of sharp increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The new steps being imposed will limit crowd sizes in counties at the higher-risk levels of coronavirus spread. The executive order will limit crowd sizes to 20 people in the highest-risk red counties and 50 people in the next-riskiest orange counties. A map of Indiana’s county risk levels can be found here. He will also extend the mask mandate.


Nov. 17: Gov. Reynolds announced new mitigation measures that state that when people are in an indoor public space, and unable to the social distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required to be worn. Additional mask requirements are imposed for certain specific establishments and gatherings. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 15 people and outdoor gatherings are now limited to 30 people. Restaurants and bars must close for in-person services between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.


Oct. 23: Gov. Kelly and the state legislature agreed to hold off on passing legislation to institute a statewide mask mandate. They will attempt to encourage Kansas counties to adopt local mask mandates.


Nov. 19: Gov. Beshear announced at-home gatherings are limited to two households. Theaters and indoor venues are limited to 25 people or fewer. Restaurants and bars must shut down indoor dining. Delivery, carry-out and outdoor dining may continue with proper guidelines. All of these guidelines begin on November 20 and last until December 13. To mitigate the impact this will have on restaurants, he announced a $40 million dollar fund to assist restaurants and bars.


Nov. 11: Gov. Edwards again extended the state of emergency to December 4.


Nov. 2: Gov. Mills’ administration will extend the "Keep Maine Healthy" program through December to promote local prevention efforts. Indoor gatherings will return to a maximum of 50 people, regardless of the building's capacity. The gathering limit on outdoor activities will stay at 100 people under existing guidelines, with physical distancing and the use of face coverings. Occupancy limits for retail establishments will remain at 5 people per 1,000 square feet of shopping space.


Nov. 18: Gov. Hogan has issued an executive order requiring restaurants, bars, and venues serving food and alcohol to close between 10 pm and 6 am, except for the purposes of carryout and delivery. Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%.


Nov. 2: Gov. Baker signed several executive orders on November 2. COVID Order 53 requires all businesses, facilities, or activities to close their premises to the public no later than 9:30 pm and reopen no earlier than 5:00 am. The businesses, facilities, and activities include restaurants, indoor theaters, drive-in theaters, and all indoor recreation. COVID Order 54 reduces gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues remains the same. Order 55 revises the face mask requirement across the state. Under this order, all persons must wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. This order allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition but allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. This order allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.

Oct. 23: Gov. Baker announced a $774 million comprehensive plan to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns and ensuring housing stability. Partnerships for Recovery begins by directing $115 million in new funding to small businesses and Main Streets hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and for workforce training efforts.


Nov. 18: Gov. Whitmer announced a new order that halts in-person learning for high schools and colleges. Indoor dining and theaters must close. Telework is required when work can be done from home.


Nov. 11: Gov. Walz announced new restrictions to help battle the spread of the coronavirus in the state. There will be a 10-person limit on indoor and outdoor private social gatherings that include a maximum of three households. Bars and restaurants will now be limited to 50% capacity both indoors and outdoors, with a maximum of 150 people. Dine-in service will end at 10 p.m., although delivery after that time can continue.


Nov. 18: Gov. Reeves amended the Safe Recovery Order. The amendment includes Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba, and Montgomery Counties.


Oct. 23: Gov. Parson extended the state of emergency until December 30.


Nov. 18: Gov. Bullock issued an order tightening COVID-19 restrictions. Face masks are required in all counties, regardless of case numbers. Restaurants, bars, and casinos are limited to 50% capacity and must close by 10 pm. Additionally, parties are limited to six people and six feet of distance is required between parties. Public gatherings are limited to 25 people when social distancing is not observed or possible; this does not apply to schools or houses of worship.


Nov. 11: Gov. Ricketts retweeted a copy of the upcoming DHM updates. These updates include stricter social distancing requirements in gyms, restaurants, and bars. Restaurants and bars may continue to operate at full capacity within the social distancing requirements. Indoor gatherings are limited to 25% occupancy. Official press release to follow.


Oct. 1: Gov. Sisolak issued a directive increasing the gathering limit to the lesser of 250 people or 50% capacity. However, gatherings at private residences should limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25. Venues with a capacity greater than 2,500 may host the greater of 250 people or 10% total fixed-seating capacity. The press release contains links for more specific guidance for celebrations, ceremonies, and events.

August 31: Gov. Sisolak issued an order temporarily banning evictions and foreclosures. This directive has been amended by ED025. This has been amended to allow the court to proceed with a summary eviction hearing under the prescribed timeline. Additional amendments include deeming Section 3 to expire August 31 at 11:59 pm; authorizing limited residential summary eviction actions; authorizing landlords of commercial premises to proceed as authorized by NRS 11 SC.200, effective June 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm; commercial landlords may initiate or reinitiate summary eviction notices to pay or quit pursuant to NRS 40.2542, effective June 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm; and more. Refer to ED025. Directives 008 and 025 have been extended through October 14 by Directive 031.

August 3: Gov. Sisolak and the Nevada Health Response team unveiled a new long-term mitigation strategy, Road to Recovery: Moving to a New Normal. The strategy outlines a sustainable response model that emphasizes (i) critical statewide metrics, (ii) monitoring county criteria, and (iii) ongoing communication and collaboration.

New Hampshire

Nov. 16: Gov. Sununu issued an executive order requiring all New Hampshire residents and travelers to comply with the travel guidance documents issued by the Division of Public Health. The order specifies that are different travel guidelines for employees. If people are traveling outside of New England, they are being asked to quarantine for 14 days upon their return, or quarantine for seven days upon their return, followed by a negative COVID-19 test.

New Jersey

Nov. 17: Gov. Murphy has announced that he will issue an order retightening restriction on gatherings. Under the new order, indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, effective November 17; and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 150 people, effective November 23.

Nov. 13: Gov. Murphy announced new restrictions to combat COVID-19. Under the new restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am, bar side seating is prohibited, and tables must be six feet apart or separated by a physical barrier.

Oct. 23: Gov. Murphy announced that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is extending special outdoor liquor license permits through March 2021.

New Mexico

Nov. 16: The New Mexico Department of Health has issued an order reverting the state back to the tightest restrictions for a "two-week reset." Under the order, all non-essential businesses must close for in-person operations. Schools remain open for hybrid learning.

New York

Nov. 11: Gov. Cuomo announced new COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants, and residential gatherings in New York State. Bars, restaurants, and any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment will be required to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Restaurants will still be allowed to provide curbside, food-only pick-up or delivery after 10 p.m., but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go. The State Liquor Authority will issue further guidance for licensees as to what sales are continued to be permitted. Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people.

Nov. 4: The state of emergency has been extended through December 3, 2020, by EO No. 202.72.

Oct. 23: Gov. Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending the state's moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 1. He also announced that movie theaters outside of NYC may open at the lesser of 25% capacity or 50 persons per screen. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones.

North Carolina

Nov. 13: Gov. Cooper announced that restaurants are now eligible for up to $20,000 in rent and mortgage interest relief under the state’s Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief program, which is part of the CARES Act passed earlier this year in response to economic strains caused by COVID-19. He also issued an order limiting mass gatherings to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

North Dakota 

Nov. 16: Gov. Burgum announced an order that requires face-coverings when inside businesses and indoor public settings. He also announced an order that requires all bars, restaurants and foodservice establishments to limit capacity to 50%, not to exceed 150 patrons, and are closed between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am for in-person service. For those already following the ND Smart Restart recommendations of 25% capacity in high-risk counties, the change will allow them to safely welcome more customers into their establishments with masking and distancing requirements. All banquet, ballroom and event venues are limited to 25% of their maximum occupancy. Industries not covered by the executive order should continue to follow the North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines.


Nov. 16: The Ohio Department of Health issued an order to enforce mask-wearing in retail locations. Everyone 10 and up must wear a mask. This order does not apply to restaurants, bars, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, tanning facilities, gyms, dance instruction studios, or personal fitness venues as these businesses fall under previously-issued, existing orders. The Department of Health issued a Director's Order prohibiting all public and private gatherings of greater than ten people occurring outside a single residence and the real estate on which it is located, or in an apartment, condominium, or dormitory. Gov. DeWine announced on Twitter that Ohio will be under curfew from November 19 through December 10. The curfew will be from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am. The curfew will not apply to those who need to be at work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries, a drive-thru meal, or delivery.


Nov. 17: Gov. Stitt issued an order increasing safety measures for restaurants, bars, and state employees. Effective November 19, all restaurants are required to space tables at least six feet apart, unless seating areas are separated by sanitized dividers. Also, effective November 19, all bars and restaurants must close by 11:00 pm. No in-person service will be allowed, except drive-thru and curbside pickup may continue. This order also extends the state of emergency to December 16.


Nov. 18: Gov. Brown announced that the state will commit $55 million in financial assistance to support Oregon businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. These funds will be allocated to counties to distribute to businesses who have been financially impacted, with a priority for the hospitality industry, businesses impacted by the freeze, small businesses, and women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal-owned businesses.


Nov. 17: The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued a new face-covering requirement.  Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home. The order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged, or served.

Rhode Island

Nov. 3: Gov. Raimondo has issued an executive order limiting mass gatherings to 10 people. The order extends the requirements that venues of indoor assembly operate at 66% capacity or one person per 100 square feet. All retail businesses with a physical location in Rhode Island may continue to conduct in-store pickup and limited browsing. All retail businesses may now allow up to one customer per 100 square feet of store area open to customers generally. All retail businesses must also develop a COVID-19 Control Plan which may be available for inspection by the Task Force. The order also extends the international and domestic travel restrictions in Rhode Island. She has also issued an executive order extending the state of emergency and the mask requiring in public places to December 3.

South Carolina

Nov. 11: Gov. McMaster extended the state of emergency for another 15 days. 

South Dakota

Oct. 23: Gov. Noem announced updates to expand the Small Business and Healthcare Provider Relief Program, which utilizes Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to assist small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum grant has been increased to $500,000 and the eligibility requirement has been expanded from a reduction in business of more than 25% to a reduction in business of more than 15%.


Nov. 2: Gov. Lee has issued an executive order that extends certain provisions of Executive Order 63 until December 29. Among the extended provisions are social distancing requirements, urging individuals to wear face coverings in public, an extension of the allowance of take-out alcohol. This order also extends the prohibition on employers to require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work.


Sept. 7: Gov. Abbott renewed the state disaster proclamation.

August 25: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has adopted an emergency rule that would enable retailers who sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption to more easily qualify for a food and beverage certificate and open to the public. Bars will now be able to reclassify as restaurants by partnering with food trucks and outside food vendors.

August 8: Gov. Abbott has issued a proclamation indefinitely extending the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration for all counties in Texas.


Nov. 11:  Gov. Herbert has issued an executive order which establishes new COVID-19 restrictions. People will be required to wear masks whenever they are in public. Casual social gatherings will be limited to household-only until November 23, 2020. All extracurricular activities will be put on hold for the duration of the order.  Bars and restaurants may not serve alcohol after 10:00 p.m. but are permitted to remain open.


Nov. 11: Gov. Scott announced an advisory on social gatherings, strongly recommending they be limited to 10 or fewer people. capacity and gathering limits at commercial locations have not changed.


Nov. 16: Gov. Northam has issued an executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All public and private in-person gatherings must be limited to 25 individuals, down from the current cap of 250 people. This includes outdoor and indoor settings. All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. All essential retail businesses must adhere to statewide guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and enhanced cleaning. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol is prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight. The occupancy of gyms will be limited to 75% capacity. The total number of attendees (including both participants and instructors) in all group exercise and fitness classes cannot exceed the lesser of 75% of the minimum occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy or 25 persons.


Nov. 16: Gov. Inslee has issued new COVID-19 restrictions. Indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 5 people.  Restaurants and bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five people. Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes are permitted but are subject to and limited by the outdoor social gathering restrictions. All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, and museums are closed for indoor service. In-store retail will be limited to 25% capacity. Religious and personal services will be limited to 25% indoor capacity. Long term care facilities will permit outdoor visiting. Gov. Inslee also announced another $50 million available in federal aid to help mitigate the impact of new COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and workers. He said he intends to distribute those grants and loans before the end of the year.

West Virginia 

Sept. 10: The latest guidelines can be found here.


Oct. 23: Gov. Evers announced that his executive order limiting gatherings and bar capacity is back in place after a court ruling upholding the executive order.


Nov. 2: Gov. Gordon has extended executive orders related to the on-premise consumption of food, employment safety, on-site instruction of K-12 and college students, and mass gathering limits until November 15.