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Rhode Island: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

RHODE ISLAND

September 22, 2020:

On September 18, 2020, Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-77 extending Executive Order 20-37 (Thirty-Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Increasing State COVID-19 Response Capacity) until October 20, 2020.

September 14, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-75 on September 9, 2020. Effective September 10, 2020, the following executive orders shall be extended until October 10, 2020:

  1. Executive Order 20-44 (Fortieth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Uniform Statewide School Calendar).
  1. Executive Order 20-46 (Forty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Public Meetings and Public Records Requests).
  1. Executive Order 20-62 (Fifty-Seventh Supplemental Emergency Declaration - School Bus Driver Recertification).

September 8, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-71 on September 2, 2020. Effective September 3, 2020 until October 3, 2020, anyone clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care practitioner must immediately self-isolate in accordance with the CDC guidance. Additionally, anyone who knows they have been within 6 feet of a person clinically diagnosed with COVID must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. Instructions for self-isolation and self-quarantine can be found on the Rhode Island Department of Health’s website here. This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order 20-20.

Governor Raimondo also issued Executive Order 20-73 on September 4, 2020. Effective September 7, 2020 until October 7, 2020, the following executive order is extended: Executive Order 20-61 (Fifty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Early Closure of Bars).

September 2, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-69 on September 2, 2020 that extends the following executive orders on September 3, 2020 until October 3, 2020:

  • Executive Order 20-02 (Declaration of Disaster Emergency).
  • Executive Order 20-06 (Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services).
  • Executive Order 20-16 (Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Authorizing Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments and Adjustments to Essential Provider Rates).
  • Executive Order 20-17 (Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Testing, Critical Supplies and Hospital Capacity Reporting).
  • Executive Order 20-19 (Sixteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance).
  • Executive Order 20-60 (Fifty-Fifth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Continuing to Require Cloth Face Coverings in Public).

August 20, 2020:

The Governor issued Executive Order 20-64 effective August 20th until September 19th. This order extends two prior orders:

  • Executive Order 20-35 (Thirty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Summer Camp Operations), and Executive Order 20-37 (Thirty-Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration Increasing State COVID-19 Response Capacity).

August 11, 2020:

The Governor of Rhode Island issued the following Executive Orders:

Executive Order 20-61: Effective August 7 through September 6, this order prohibits the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption from 11:00 p.m. to close, excepting only the service of alcohol to patrons seated at tables in accordance with Phase III guidelines for restaurants. This order requires establishments to rope off the bar area and make seating at the bar counter unavailable to customers after 11:00 p.m. This order does not affect the provisions of Executive Order 20-58 (Phase III Re-Opening) and the Rhode Island Department of Health’s “Safe Activities” regulation.

Executive Order 20-62: Effective August 10 through September 9, this order removes certain recertification criteria for school bus drivers.

Executive Order 20-63: Effective August 10, 2020 through September 9, this order extends the following Executive Orders:

  • Executive Order 20-44 (Fortieth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Uniform Statewide School Calendar)
  • Executive Order 20-46 (Forty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Public Meetings and Public Records Requests)

On August 7, the Rhode Island Department of Health implemented the regulation “Safe Activities by Covered Entities During the COVID-19 Emergency.” Effective until September 5, this regulation applies to any person, for-profit or non-profit business, state agency, political subdivision of the State, school, religious institution, public or private park or beach. Excluding residential dwellings, the regulation applies to all establishments.

Universal Regulations:

The regulation requires all individuals in public or in an establishment to maintain physical distancing at all times. Unless physical distancing can be maintained, all individuals in public or in an establishment shall wear a cloth face covering.

Additionally, employers must provide cloth face coverings at no expense to employees. The face covering regulation does not apply:

  • to individuals whose employers or other regulations require wearing more protective respiratory protection (such as N95 respirators);
  • to individuals whose mental or physical health would be damaged by wearing a face covering;
  • to individuals, including children, who may not be developmentally unable to effectively wear a cloth face covering;
  • when a face covering would inhibit an activity of daily living (e.g. eating);
  • when a face covering would itself negatively impact the safety of an individual or others;
  • in outdoor settings where people can easily and continuously maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from one another.

Excluding individuals, all others covered by this regulation must have a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment. This plan must address:

  • physical distancing,
  • cloth face coverings,
  • cleaning procedures,
  • procedures for denying access to the establishment by COVID-19 positive and symptomatic individuals,
  • response plan to positive case/ outbreak,
  • point of contact for coordinating with the Department of Health,
  • protocols to ensure capacity limits,
  • a designee to ensure compliance,
  • and employee training.

Excluding individuals, all others covered by this regulation must ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment. Entities’ screening procedures must comply with minimum criteria of the ordinance, and when such screening identifies an individual with multiple symptoms the entity must deny that individual access—unless individual is a resident of the entity, the entity is a cooling center, or the entity is a health care facility. All entities must display an educational poster for patrons. For entities without staff present, contact information must be clearly displayed to allow customers to report violations.

All entities must provide access to a restroom with soap and water or must ensure ready access to hand sanitizer. All entities must perform and document environmental cleaning once per day. Water fountains are prohibited. The use of hookahs or waterpipes is prohibited.

Indoor/ Outdoor Dining:

All entities offering indoor/ outdoor dining must ensure tables are separated by a physical barrier or by at least eight (8) feet from table edge to table edge and six (6) feet away from areas with regular customer foot traffic. Self-service seating, service to standing customers, and self-service food stations are prohibited.

Bar seating must be six (6) feet apart or have physical barriers installed. When persons are seated at a bar, no employee is allowed to work behind the bar—unless there is a physical partition of acceptable specifications.

Entities must collect the full name, phone number, and date and time on site from all visitors and other entrants present on site for 15-minutes or more. This information is to be used solely for contract tracing purposes and must be maintained for thirty (30) days and then permanently destroyed. All persons whose information is collected must be notified that the information is being collected solely for the purpose of contract tracing.

Retail Establishments:

If offering in-person shopping, individual retailers must not offer sampling or application of personal goods, unless they provide single-use applicators or a no-touch option. Multi-retailer and multi-tenant establishments must maintain capacity limitations and ensure that any public/ shared spaces allow for physical distancing.

Recreation, Entertainment, and Assembly Venues or Establishments:

All covered entities offering outdoor recreation and entertainment activities (not including any public or private park or beach, campground, farmer’s market, or nature center) must:

  • Space parties in structured seating six (6) feet apart on all sides.
  • Space live performers fourteen (14) feet away from one another and the audience (including high traffic areas). This may be reduced to six (6) feet if performers wear cloth face coverings or physical barriers are erected.
  • Sanitize all commonly touched surfaces and objects between uses.

Fitness Centers and Gymnasiums:

All gyms and fitness centers should require face coverings but must at least ensure individuals engaged in rigorous activity remain a minimum fourteen (14) feet apart. All equipment must be at least six (6) feet apart. All equipment for individual and group class use must be sanitized between users. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies must be available for patron use.

The full name, phone number, and date and times on site must be collected for contract tracing purposes, for all persons present on-site for a period of 15-minutes or more. This information must be maintained for thirty (30) days and then must be permanently destroyed. All persons whose information is collected must be notified that the information is being collected solely for the purpose of contract tracing.

Personal Services:

All covered entities operating establishments that offer personal services must ensure:

  • Hand sanitizer is available.
  • All commonly touched surfaces, equipment, and objects are sanitized between uses.
  • If patron must remove mask for services, then personal service professional must wear a face covering with protection equivalent to an N-95 respirator and eye protection. The unmasked patron must maintain physical distancing from all other individuals.
  • The full name, phone number, and date and times on site must be collected for contract tracing purposes, for all persons present on-site for a period of 15-minutes or more. This information must be maintained for thirty (30) days and then must be permanently destroyed. All persons whose information is collected must be notified that the information is being collected solely for the purpose of contract tracing.

Lodging Operations and Accommodations:

All covered entities operating lodging operations and accommodations establishments must require all guests to complete and submit to the establishment a certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements, which certificate must be in a form approved by the Department of Health. Certificates must be retained by the establishment for no fewer than thirty (30) days.

In-Home Services:

All covered entities providing services in residential dwellings must require all employees entering homes to wear cloth face coverings or other more protective respiratory protection.

Penalties:

The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health may close entities if hot spots arise or violations of this regulation occur. Additionally, violators may incur a $500 penalty per violation.

August 4, 2020:

The Governor of Rhode Island issued the following Executive Orders:

Executive Order 20-57: This order is in effect from July 31st to August 28th and extends Executive Order 20-51 (Forty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Support for Young Adults Aging Out of State Care).

Executive Order 20-58: This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order 20-50 and is effective July 29th through August 28th.

Travel Guidelines

  • Requires persons arriving from locations outside the continental United States to Self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in RI.
  • Further, this order requires non-business travelers from domestic destinations with a high community spread rate as designated by RIDOH at health.ri.gov/covid to self-quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. This portion of the order does not apply to public health, public safety, healthcare workers. Nor does it apply to anyone traveling for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services, to obtain necessities such as groceries, gas or medication, to drop off or pick up children from day care or to anyone who must work on their boats.

Easing Social Gathering Limitations

  • All indoor social gatherings of more than fifteen (15) people in any public or private space are prohibited. However, indoor social gatherings in a restaurant or with licensed catering on site, such as weddings, may have up to fifty (50) people, provided that restaurant rules are applied. All outdoor social gatherings of more than fifteen (15) people in any public or private space are prohibited. However, outdoor social gatherings at a restaurant or with licensed catering on site such as weddings may have up to one hundred (100) people, provided that restaurant rules are applied. The Department of Business Regulation may grant exceptions to booked outdoor weddings at a restaurant or with licensed catering on site with more than 100 people.

Easing Limits on:

  • Venues of Assembly
    • Subject to strict adherence to social distancing, masking, screening and sanitation protocols, and Phase III guidelines indoor venues of assembly may operate at up to 66% of capacity or 1 person per 100 square feet, to a cap of one hundred and twenty-five (125) people, and outdoor venues of assembly may operate at up to 66% of capacity or 1 person per 100 square feet to a cap of two hundred and fifty (250) people.
    • Consistent with the foregoing restrictions on places of assembly, religious and faith based organizations may conduct indoor in-person activities up to 66% percent of worship space capacity, subject to a cap of one hundred and twenty-five (125) people and to the Phase III guidelines for religious and faith-based organizations which are available at https://ReopeningRI.com. Outdoor religious services may operate at 66% of capacity to a cap of two hundred and fifty (250) people, with social distancing and masking in effect.
  • Office-Based Businesses
    • For office-based businesses, up to 66% of workers may work on site at the same time if they physically distance and follow all applicable regulations. For any workplace where more than 66% of employees have been working on site during Phase II, the employer is not required to reduce the number of staff on site.
  • Retail Businesses
    • All retail businesses may now allow up to one customer per 100 square feet of store area open to customers generally. Retail businesses must follow all state regulations as outlined in the order.
  • Restaurants and Bars
    • Restaurants and bars may only operate if they follow the Phase III requirements, found here.
    • The rule that a Class B licensee may only sell alcohol for consumption on the premises shall continue to be suspended. Class B licensees are permitted to sell, with take-out food orders, up to 2 bottles of wine, 144 ounces of beer or mixed beverages in original factory sealed containers, and 144 ounces of draft beer or 72 ounces of mixed beverages containing not more than 9 ounces of distilled spirits in sealed containers to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was broken/removed.
    • Indoor dining capacity is limited to 66% of an establishment’s regular seating capacity, service to standing customers is prohibited, and individual tables may seat up to eight persons.
    • Bars may remain open for seated service only. Violations of Phase II guidelines may subject a bar to immediate closure.
  • Recreational/Entertainment Businesses and Historical/Cultural Establishments
    • These establishes may conduct indoor and outdoor operations subject to a capacity limit of up to 66% or 1 person per 100 square feet, according to Phase III guidelines.
    • Nightclubs must remain closed.
  • Personal Services Business
    • These establishments may open subject to Phase III guidelines and may allow up to one customer per 100 square feet.
  • Gyms
    • Outdoor group fitness activities are limited to one person per 100 square feet.
    • Indoor operations may be continued in compliance with Phase III guidelines, and open gym settings, capacity is limited to one person per 100 square feet. All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned between users.
  • State Parks and Beaches
    • May remain open subject to Phase III restrictions.
  • Child-Care Services
    • Shall continue in small stable groups pursuant to emergency regulations.
  • Summer Camps
    • Shall open pursuant to RIDOH regulations.
  • Elective Medical Procedures
    • May continue pursuant to plans submitted by providers and approved by RIDOH.
  • The Task Force created by Executive Order 20-32 shall continue to educate and inspect businesses and enforce RIDOH regulations.

Executive Order 20-59: Effective August 3rd through September 2nd this order extends the following executive orders:

  • Executive Order 20-02 (Declaration of Disaster Emergency).
  • Executive Order 20-06 (Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services).
  • Executive Order 20-16 (Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration -Authorizing Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments and Adjustments to Essential Provider Rates).
  • Executive Order 20-17 (Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Testing, Critical Supplies and Hospital Capacity Reporting).
  • Executive Order 20-19 (Sixteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance).
  • Executive Order 20-20 (Seventeenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Further Quarantine Order).
  • Executive Order 20-33 (Thirtieth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Hospital and Community-Based Health Care).

Executive Order 20-60: Effective August 3rd through September 2nd this order supersedes Executive Order 20-41, and further extends the State’s mask mandate.

July 28, 2020:

The Governor of the State of Rhode Island issued Executive Order 20-55 on July 24, 2020 that extends two other executive orders: Executive Orders 20-29 (Promoting better coordination of health care coverage) and 20-39 (Authorizing adjustments to child care subsidies and reimbursement dates). The order is effective July 27th until August 26th.

July 27, 2020:

(City of Providence): The City of Providence issued Executive Order 2020-14 on July 23, 2020 supplementing Executive orders 2020-1, 2020-2, 2020-3, 2020-4, 2020-5, 2020-6, 2020-7, 2020-9, 2020-11, 2020-12. Effective on July 23rd until August 19th, the city’s guidelines for reopening have changed to mirror those guidelines issued per Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Rhode Island. Now, the City of Providence’s guidelines for all social gatherings and public events—indoor and outdoor; guidelines for all businesses—essential and nonessential; and guidelines for domestic travel and quarantine restrictions must be consistent with the Governor’s guidelines. Additionally, all outdoor fields, courts, and other sports facilities may open for organized youth and adult sports activities with restrictions and a permit, but activities must be consistent with guidelines issued by the State. Also, the Port/Harbor of the City of Providence is closed to any commercial cruise line passenger vessel of any size or capacity. Any disembarkation of passengers within the City of Providence at any public or private facility is prohibited. This order is effective through August 19, 2020.

July 23, 2020:

(City of Providence): The City of Providence issued Executive Order 2020-12 on July 1, 2020 supplementing Executive orders 2020-1, 2020-2, 2020-3, 2020-4, 2020-5, 2020-6, 2020-7, 2020-9, 2020-11. The Order, effective on July 1, 2020, outlines the number of persons who may attend any single social gathering. Accordingly, where a professional caterer is involved in a wedding the party size may be double the standard guidelines up to 50 people for indoor events and 100 for outdoor events. All indoor entities operating at a square footage capacity may increase occupancy up to one person per 100 square feet, provided that everyone maintains a six feet social distance. All indoor and seated entities operating at a percentage of capacity may increase up to 66% capacity if maintaining six feet social distance, and free-flowing venues can open to a capacity of 100 square feet per person with the same social distance requirement.  

July 20, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-54 that extends two other executive orders: Executive Order 20-35 (Thirty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Summer Camp Operations) and Executive Order 20-37 (Thirty-Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration Increasing State COVID-19 Response Capacity). The Executive Order is effective July 20, 2020 and shall remain in full force until August 19, 2020.

July 13, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-53, effective July 10th until August 9th. The order extends the following executive orders:

  • Executive Order 20-44 (Fortieth Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Uniform Statewide School Calendar)
  • Executive Order 20-46 (Forty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration - Public Meetings and Public Records Requests)

July 8, 2020:

Governor Raimondo passed Executive Order 20-52, effective July 3rd until August 2nd. The order extends the following executive orders:

  • Executive Order 20-02, (Declaration of Disaster Emergency)
  • Executive Order 20-06 (Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services)
  • Executive Order 20-07 (Fifth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Extension of Time for Weapon and Firearm Background Checks)
  • Executive Order 20-16 (Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Authorizing Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments and Adjustments to Essential Provider Rates)
  • Executive Order 20-17 (Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Testing, Critical Supplies and Hospital Capacity Reporting)
  • Executive Order 20-19 (Sixteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance)
  • Executive Order 20-20 (Seventeenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Further Quarantine Order)
  • Executive Order 20-33 (Thirtieth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Hospital and Community-Based Health Care)
  • Executive Order 20-41 (Thirty-Eighth Supplemental Emergency Declaration—Continuing to Require Cloth Mask Coverings in Public)

June 30, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-50 on Monday, June 29, that lays out a revised Phase III reopening plan. The plan remains in effect through July 29 and includes the following restrictions and requirements:

  • Indoor Social Gatherings
    • All indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people in any public or private space
    • Indoor gatherings in a restaurant with a licensed catering on site, such as a wedding, may have up to 50 people so long as restaurant rules are applied.
  • Outdoor Social Gatherings
    • All outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people in any public or private space
    • Outdoor social gatherings at a restaurant or with licensed catering on site, such as weddings, may have up to one hundred (100) people, provided that restaurant rules are applied.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Venues
    • Venues of assembly such as convention centers, concert halls, performance venues, and theaters may operate at up to 66% capacity, or 1 person per 100 square feet, up to a maximum of 125 people, subject to additional requirements listed here.
  • Office-Based Limitations
    • Up to 66% of workers may work on site as long as social distancing standards can be maintained, subject to additional requirements listed here.
  • Retail Businesses
    • Retail businesses may allow up to one customer per 100 square feet for in-store pickup and limited browsing
  • Personal Service Businesses
    • Up to one person per 100 square feet for in-store services, subject to additional requirements listed here.
  • Restaurants
    • Indoor dining capacity is limited to 66% of regular seating capacity, with parties up to 8 allowed to be seated at any given table
    • Bars may be open for seated service only
    • Nightclub operations remain closed
    • Additional requirements are listed here.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
    • Up to one person per 100 square feet for in-store services as long as social distancing requirements are observed
    • Additional requirements are listed here.
  • International Travel Restrictions
    • Any person traveling outside the 50 States or Washington D.C. must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Domestic Travel Restrictions
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island for non-work-related purposes from any location on a list maintained by Rhode Island Department of help must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test, subject to exceptions.
  • State Parks and Beaches
    • All state parks and beaches remain open subject to limits on use, parking, capacity, and other restrictions found here.
  • Childcare Services
    • Child-care services may continue in small, stable groups pursuant to the regulations promulgated by the Rhode Island Department of Human Services
  • Summer Camps
    • Summer camps may open pursuant to Rhode Island Department of Health regulations
  • Elective Medical Procedures
    • Elective Medical Procedures may continue pursuant to plans submitted by healthcare providers and approval by Rhode Island Department of Health

June 29, 2020:

Governor Raimondo passed Executive Order 20-49 on June 26, 2020 which extends Executive Orders 20-29 (Promoting better coordination of health care coverage) and 20-39 (Authorizing adjustments to child care subsidies and reimbursement dates).

June 22, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-47, extending Executive Orders 20-35, and 20-37. 20-35 limits the number of participants able to attend summer camps, and, 20-37 suspends retirement work restrictions for retired persons beneficial to COVID-19 response capacities.

June 4, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued two executive orders on June 4, 2020.

Executive Order 20-41 requires any person in a public place (indoors or outdoors) to continue covering their mouth and nose with a mask or face cloth unless it would damage a person’s health. Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other people.

Masks are required at all times in grocery stores, pharmacies or other retail businesses, and when providing or using services of taxi or other mass public transit. Restaurants offering dine-in services, personal service businesses, gyms, daycares, and places of assembly that are re-opening in Phase II shall abide by their particular sector-specific face covering protocols.

This executive order goes into effect immediately and shall remain in effect until July 4.

Executive Order 20-42 extends the following executive orders until July 4, 2020:

  • Executive Order 20-02 (Declaration of Disaster Emergency).
  • Executive Order 20-06 (Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services).
  • Executive Order 20-07 (Fifth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Extension of Time for Weapon and Firearm Background Checks).
  • Executive Order 20-16 (Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Authorizing Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments and Adjustments to Essential Provider Rates).
  • Executive Order 20-17 (Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Testing, Critical Supplies and Hospital Capacity Reporting).
  • Executive Order 20-19 (Sixteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance).
  • Executive Order 20-20 (Seventeenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Fourth Quarantine Order).
  • Executive Order 20-33 (Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Hospital and Community-Based Health Care).

June 1, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-40 on May 29, 2020, which addresses Phase II of the state’s reopening plan to be effective Monday, June 1, 2020:

  • Social Gathering Sizes
    • No more than fifteen (15) people are allowed in any public or private space.
  • Travel
    • Anyone traveling to Rhode Island from outside the country for any reason must self-quarantine for 14 days;
    • Anyone traveling to Rhode Island for a non-work related purpose from any city, town, county or state that has a stay-at-home order in place must self-quarantine for 14 days. This does not apply to those traveling to Rhode Island for medical treatment, to attend a funeral or memorial service, to obtain necessities, to drop off or pick up children from day care, or anyone who must work on their boats.
  • Office-Based Businesses
    • Up to 33% of workers (or up to 15 staff members, whichever is greater) may work on site at the same time as long as they physically distance.
  • Non-Critical Retail Businesses
    • may allow up to one customer per 150 square feet of store area open to customers generally.
  • Restaurants and Bars
    • They may only operate if they follow the Phase II requirements, found here.
    • The rule that a Class B licensee may only sell alcohol for consumption on the premises shall continue to be suspended. Class B licensees are permitted to sell, with take-out food orders, up to 2 bottles of wine, 144 ounces of beer or mixed beverages in original factory sealed containers, and 144 ounces of draft beer or 72 ounces of mixed beverages containing not more than 9 ounces of distilled spirits in sealed containers to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was broken/removed.
    • Indoor dining capacity is limited to 50% of the establishment’s regular seating capacity. Parties are limited to 15 people, and up to 8 people may be seated at an individual table.
    • Serving standing customers (e.g., in a bar area) is prohibited with the exception of food pick-up.
    • Bars may only reopen for seated service.
    • All restaurants and bars operating in Phase II must develop a COVID-19 Control Plan (template available here).
  • Personal Services Businesses
    • They may reopen subject to the Phase II requirements found here.
    • Any personal service where a mask cannot be work continuously are prohibited.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers
    • They may begin limited indoor re-openings subject to the Phase II requirements found here.
    • Outdoor group fitness activities are limited to one person per 150 square feet.
    • All gyms and fitness centers must develop a COVID-19 Control Plan (template available here).
  • State Parks and Beaches
    • They all shall open subject to limits on use, parking, capacity and other restrictions found here.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Places of Assembly
    • Recreation and entertainment establishments shall continue to cease in-person operations except as permitted by Phase II. Examples included theatres, concert halls, comedy clubs, arcades, clubs, sporting events, and bowling alleys.
    • Recreational businesses and historical/cultural establishments may conduct limited outdoor operations. Examples include mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart tracks, zoos, and historical sites.
    • All indoor and outdoor events must adhere to the social gathering limit of 15.
    • All recreational and entertainment establishments must develop a COVID-19 Control Plan.
  • Houses of Worship
    • Notwithstanding the foregoing restrictions on places of assembly, all religious and faith-based organizations may resume indoor in-person activities up to 25% of worship space capacity and subject to the Phase II requirements.
    • All “houses of worship” must develop a COVID-19 Control Plan.
  • Child Care Services
    • They may resume in small, stable groups pursuant to the regulations promulgated by the Rhode Island Department of Human Services.
  • Elective Medical Procedures
    • They may continue pursuant to plans submitted by healthcare providers.
  • Other Recommendations
    • The “vulnerable population” (individuals over the age of 65) is strongly advised to stay at home unless they must go outside for work, travel, or medical treatment/to obtain necessities;
    • Working from home is still strongly encouraged.
    • Outdoor dining and carry out is still strongly encouraged.
    • Outdoor fitness is preferred over indoor.

May 28, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-38 on May 27, 2020 that extends Executive Order 20-29 (Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage) until June 26, 2020.

May 26, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-35 on May 21, 2020 that sets rules for summer camps:

  • Summer Camp “groups” shall not exceed 15 people (up to 14 campers).
  • The Rhode Island Department of Health will promulgate further, specific regulations to govern summer camp operations.

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-36 on May 21, 2020 that extends Executive Order 20-32 (Twenty-Ninth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Lifting the Stay at Home Order, Leaving Certain Restrictions in place, Limited Re-opening with Stringent Health Regulations) until May 31, 2020.

May 19, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued a press release on May 18, 2020 announcing plans to open more parts of Rhode Island:

  • East Matunuck State Beach and Scarborough State Beach will reopen on Memorial Day, May 25th. Bathrooms and concessions will be closed, and reduced parking will be enforced.
  • All beaches, including bathrooms and concessions, are planning on opening at the beginning of Phase 2.
  • The Governor’s plan is to allow Churches to have in-person faith services the weekend of May 30th.
  • Guidelines for hair salons and barbershops are being developed so that they may reopen in Phase 2.
  • Phase 2 may begin in “early June.”

May 18, 2020:

No executive order updates. But, Governor Raimondo issued a press release on Saturday, May 16 detailing the metrics Rhode Island will look to while moving between economic reopening phases.

  • Hospital capacity: If the state continues to see less than 70% of ICU and non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients, that is an indicator that it is safe to continue moving forward. However, if 85% or more of these beds are filled, either in overall hospital capacity or specifically in the ICU, it may be time to scale back.
  • Hospitalization: Right now, Rhode Island is consistently seeing fewer than 30 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations per day. If that trend continues, that is an indicator that reopening can move forward. But if that number is consistently above 50, it may signal a need to go back.
  • Rate of Spread: This is measured using the "R value," or the "effective reproduction rate." This is how many people are infected by each infected person. If the R value continues to be around 1.1 or lower, then it will be safe to think about moving into the next phase. If the R value gets to 1.3 or higher Rhode Island may have to move back a phase.
  • Doubling Rate of Current Hospitalizations: Currently, hospitalizations are stable or declining. If the state starts seeing a doubling within twenty days or less, that will be an indicator that it may be time to put restrictions back in place.

May 15, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-34 on May 15, 2020 that extends the following executive orders until June 14, 2020:

  • Executive Order 20-11 (Ninth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Delaying the Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election)
  • Executive Order 20-27 (Twenty-Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Further Preparations for a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election).
  • Executive Order 20-25 (Twenty-Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Public Meetings and Public Records Requests).
  • Executive Order 20-26 (Twenty-Third Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Support for Young Adults Aging Out of State Care).

May 13, 2020:

No executive order updates. But, Governor Raimondo announced a plan to re-open restaurants for outdoor dining only beginning on May 18. Restaurants will be required to operate under the following rules:

  • Dining will be by reservation only;
  • Groups may not exceed five people;
  • Tables must be at least 8ft apart or separated by barriers;
  • No more than 20 tables will be allowed in any outdoor space;
  • One-time-use paper menus/chalkboard menus are recommended;
  • Condiments and utensils shall either be single-use or sanitized between uses;
  • All high-traffic areas will have to be frequently cleaned;
  • Tables and chairs shall be sanitized in between parties;
  • All employees must wear face coverings
  • All customers must wear face coverings when they are not eating;
  • Self-service food stations like buffets and salad bars are prohibited;
  • Cashless and contactless payment methods are encouraged;
  • Pens and payment stations must be frequently cleaned; and
  • No valet services are allowed.

May 10, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-32 on May 8, 2020 that goes into effect on May 9, 2020 and does several things, including partial relaxations on the Stay at Home Order:

  • The portion of Executive Order 20-14 that required all Rhode Island residents to stay at home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities is hereby repealed. All “vulnerable populations” identified by the CDC are “strongly advised’ to stay at hoe unless they must go out.
  • All non-critical retail businesses with a physical location in Rhode Island shall be permitted to re-open for in-store pickup and limited browsing only. Only one customer per 300 square feet of store area is allowed in. These retail businesses must operate in accordance with social distancing protocols, guidelines and regulations set forth in Executive Orders 20-24 and 20-30.
  • Employers must still encourage working remotely to the greatest extent possible. Any Rhode Island employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work-from-home arrangements. This does not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
  • State parks shall start to re-open in a graduated manner.
  • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for non-work related purposes still must self-quarantine for 14 days. This does not apply to anyone traveling for medical treatment, to attend funeral/memorial services, to obtain “necessities,” dropping off/picking up children from day care, or anyone who must work on their boats. Any person who lives in Rhode Island and works in another state who can work from home is required to do so. This shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
  • Social gatherings of more than five people in any public or private space is still prohibited.
  • The requirement that a Class B license must be held to sell alcohol for consumption only on the premises shall continue to be suspended. A Class B licensee will now be permitted to sell, with take-out food orders, up to two bottles of wine, 144 ounces of beer/mixed beverages in original factory sealed containers, and 144 ounces of draft beer or 72 ounces of mixed beverages containing not more than 9 ounces of distilled spirits in growlers, bottles or other containers sealed in such a way as to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was removed or broken. Restaurants, bars and establishments that offer food and drink shall continue not to permit on-premises consumption of food or drink except in outdoor portions of the licensed premises.
  • Elective medical procedures and other medical services shall be allowed to resume pursuant to plans submitted by healthcare providers and approved by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
  • All recreation and entertainment establishments shall continue to cease in-person operations. All close-contact businesses shall continue to cease in-person operations.
  • This Order shall remain in full force until May 23, 2020.

Governor Raimondo also issued Executive Order 20-31 on May 6, 2020 that extended nine executive orders:

  • Executive Order 20-02 (Declaration of Disaster Emergency)
  • Executive Order 20-03 (Supplemental Emergency Declaration – International Travel)
  • Executive Order 20-06 (Fourth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Expanding Access to Telemedicine Services)
  • Executive Order 20-07 (Fifth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Extension of Time for Weapon and Firearm Background Checks)
  • Executive Order 20-16 (Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Authorizing Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Amendments and Adjustments to Essential Provider Rates)
  • Executive Order 20-17 (Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Testing, Critical Supplies and Hospital Capacity Reporting)
  • Executive Order 20-19 (Sixteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Increasing Access to Unemployment Insurance)
  • Executive Order 20-20 (Seventeenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Further Quarantine Order)
  • Executive Order 20-22 (Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Shareholder Meetings)

Governor Raimondo also issued Executive Order 20-33 on May 8, 2020 that suspends the statutes and rules necessary to allow expanded hospital capacity. Specifically, the hospital and nursing facility licensing statutes and rules (including but not limited to the nursing facility bed moratorium statute and rules) are suspended solely to the extent the services provided by the hospitals and nursing facilities are in response to this Order. The Order also gives statutory immunity for hospitals and health care workers dealing with COVID-19, and landlords making alternative hospital sites available to Rhode Island. This Order shall remain in full force until June 7, 2020.

May 6, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-30 on May 5, 2020. Effective on Friday, May 8, 2020, any person who is in a place open to the public (outdoors and indoors) shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering unless doing so would damage the person’s health. Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously and measurably maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other people. Face coverings must be worn at all times while inside grocery stores, pharmacies or other retail stores, as well as taxis, cars, and other ride-sharing services. This order shall remain in full force and effect until June 4, 2020.

May 5, 2020:

Governor Raimondo detailed more information for Phase 1 of Rhode Island’s economic reopening in a press release on May 5, 2020.

  • “Non-critical retail stores” that were closed will be allowed to reopen for in-person operations, including “limited in-person browsing.” Retailers with in-person browsing will be allowed to have one person browsing for every 300 square feet of retail space.
  • Employers with officers are able to begin take steps to prepare for their offices to reopen. Offices are encouraged to allow everyone who can work from home to continue working from home.
  • Limited outdoor in-person eating at restaurants will be allowed “later in phase 1.”
  • Visitation restrictions for nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living centers will continue.

May 4, 2020:

No executive order updates. But, Governor Raimondo unveiled a plan on May 1, 2020 to reopen parks in phases. The reopening will follow the Rhode Island economy’s general phased reopening.

April 29, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-29 on April 27, 2020. It provides health care providers and health care entities further flexibility in order to sustain adequate and responsive networks.

April 28, 2020:

No executive order updates. But, Governor Raimondo unveiled Rhode Island’s “Reopen RI” framework on April 27, 2020. It is a three-phase plan.

  • Phase 1 – Testing the waters: In the first phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to seeing friends and family again. The stay at home order will be lifted, but social gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will be able to go to work and to get food or medicine. But in accordance with federal public health guidance, vulnerable individuals will be strongly encouraged to otherwise stay home. Masks, vigilant hand-washing, and increased cleaning must remain in place. And everyone who can work from home should still work from home. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.
  • Phase 2 – Navigating our way: In the second phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to more businesses reopening and restrictions being further relaxed. Expanded childcare options will be available under strict public health guidelines. More restaurants, retail and close-contact businesses like hair and nail salons may open. Additional recreational options will likely return, but restrictions will remain. Social gathering limits will increase to 15 people. Guidance for older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will remain unchanged from phase one. Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place. Offices will ease capacity restrictions allowing more people to come in, but many people will still work from home. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.
  • Phase 3 – Picking up speed: In the third phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to seeing more of their families and friends. Social gatherings will be limited to 50 people. Offices, restaurants, retail and other businesses will lift some of the tightest restrictions to allow more people in at one time but will need to operate under long-term safety guidelines. Older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will no longer be strongly encouraged to stay home. These individuals will be reminded to exercise significant caution in public. Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place. Working from home will still be encouraged where possible but more people will return to the workplace. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.

April 19, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-28 on April 17, 2020 that extended two prior executive orders until May 8, 2020:

April 16, 2020:

Governor Raimondo signed to Executive Orders on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Executive Order 20-25 addresses meetings of “public bodies” as defined in the Open Meetings Act, Rhode Island General Laws section 42-6-1 effective immediately. Many important functions of state and local government are executed in meetings of “public bodies.” Now, public bodies conducting meetings are hereby relieved from the prohibitions regarding use of telephonic or electronic communications to conduct meetings. Public bodies are required to make provisions to ensure public access to the meeting of the public body for members of the public through adequate, alternative means. A public body shall ensure that any party entitled or required to appear before it shall be able to do so through remote means, as if the party were a member of the public body and participating remotely.

Additionally, the statutory timeframes within which to respond to an Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”) request contained in Rhode island General Laws section 38-2-3 and section 38-2-7 are hereby suspended for all pending and new public records requests. The timeline for responding to a records request may be extended by an additional 20-business days by any agency or public body defined by the APRA. It shall be sufficient for an agency or public body to provide records electronically.

Executive Order 20-26 addresses support for young adults aging out of state care. Effective immediately, the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws 14-1-6(d) and 40-11-12.5 are hereby suspended to the extent that they limit participation in Programs to age 21. “Programs” includes the DCYF Voluntary Extension of Care Program and the YESS Aftercare program. All young adults who were Program participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 shall be permitted to voluntarily receive the services and supports, including rental assistance payments, as provided by the Program to which they are or were enrolled for a period of up to sixty (60) days following the termination of this state of emergency.

April 15, 2020:

Governor Raimondo signed Executive Order 20-24 that, effective Saturday, April 18, 2020, requires all employees of Rhode Island’s customer and client-facing businesses and non-profit organizations, office-based businesses and non-profit organizations, and any other such business category as determined by the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) that are still in operation to wear cloth face coverings unless an employee can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other employees for the duration of his or her work or unless doing so would damage the employee's health. All such employees must wear face coverings in any entry, exit and common areas of the business, including, but not limited to: check-in, registration, reception, hallways, bathrooms, breakrooms, time clock areas, elevators, or stairways.

Additionally, the above businesses must provide, at their own expense, face coverings or materials for the making of such face coverings for their employees.

April 12, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued three executive orders on April 10, 2020.

Executive Order 20-21 suspends multiple statues and rules related to hospitals and nursing facilities as well as expands hospital capacity laws. Specifically, the hospital and nursing facility licensing statutes and rules, including but not limited to the nursing facility bed moratorium statute and rules, and certificate of need statutes and rules, as well as R.I. General Laws 23-6-8 (requiring local authorization of a hospital or camp for communicable disease), are suspended.

All Rhode Island licensed hospitals must prepare and take whatever steps are necessary, including expanding medical/surgical and critical care capacity, to continue to evaluate and treat COVID-19 patients. The Executive Order also spells out requirements for hospitals to follow when transferring patients between Rhode Island hospitals.

Finally, Executive Order 20-21 provides immunity for certain health care workers and health care facilities. Specifically, it classifies the following people as “disaster response workers” entitled to immunity under R.I. Gen. Laws § 30-15-15(a) and to provide services beyond or without a license as permitted by R.I. Gen. Laws § 30-15-15(b):

  • “All persons and organizations subject to this Order, including health care workers providing community-based health care, services at surge hospitals and services in existing hospitals, nursing facilities and alternative nursing care sites.”
  • “The landlords making the surge hospital locations and alternative nursing care sites available to the State, plus their employees, management companies and contractors providing services to construct, operate or decommission the surge hospital locations.”

The provisions of R.I. General Laws § 30-15-15(c), treating disaster response workers as State employees for purposes of workers' compensation, are suspended with respect to any person deemed and/or affirmed to be a disaster response worker solely under this Order. This Executive Order goes into effect immediately.

Executive Order 20-22 allows a Rhode Island corporation that has already given notice, or will give notice within 10 days of this Executive Order, to its shareholders of the physical location of its annual shareholder meeting to inform the shareholders that the meeting will instead be held solely by remote communication, and the corporation will not have to mail new notices, so long as the date and time remain the same. The corporation must issue a press release that is reasonably expected to reach its shareholders, notice of the meeting change must be posted to the corporation’s website, and the corporation must take all other reasonable steps to ensure the shareholders know of this change. This Executive Order goes into effect immediately.

Executive Order 20-23 extends five previously issued executive orders until May 8, 2020:

  • Executive Order 20-03, Supplemental Emergency Declaration
  • Executive Order 20-04, Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration (Restaurants, Bars, Entertainment Venues, and Public Gatherings, with the exception of paragraph 1 regarding public gatherings. Public gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited pursuant to Executive Order 20-14);
  • Executive Order 20-08, Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration (Economic Support for Restaurants, Bars and Establishments that Offer Food);
  • Executive Order 20-09, Seventh Supplemental Emergency Declaration (Public Gatherings, Close-Contact Businesses, Public Recreation and Business Service Providers, with the exception of paragraph 6 regarding public gatherings. Public gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited pursuant to Executive Order 20-14);
  • Executive Order 20-14, Amended Supplemental Emergency Declaration (Staying at Home, Reduce Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions).

April 10, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued two executive orders:

Executive Order 20-19 does three things:

  1. Charges to employer’s accounts under Rhode Island General Laws 28-43-2(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals that are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended.
  2. The statutory confidentiality provisions contained in the State Tax Laws are suspended insofar as they relate to the narrow purpose of the Tax Division sharing state personal income tax information with the Department of Labor and Training (“DLT”) so that the DLT may facilitate verifications and make Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments.
  3. Prohibitions and restrictions on post-retirement employment by persons who have retired are hereby suspended with respect to those specific retirees identified by DLT who have the skills, training or knowledge needed to address COVID-19.

Executive Order 20-20 requires the following:

  1. any person who has been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately self-isolate until (i) they have had no fever for at least 72 hours, and (ii) they have experienced a resolution of symptoms, and (iii) at least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
  2. Any person who has been in known close contact with a person who has been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
  3. These quarantine restrictions do not apply to public health, public safety, social service providers, and healthcare workers.
  4. Failure to follow this executive order may be met with penalties.

April 8, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued an Executive Order on April 8, 2020 that extended Executive Order 20-02 (Declaration of Disaster Emergency) until May 8, 2020. The original Declaration of Disaster Emergency only lasted until April 8, 2020.

April 7, 2020:

Governor Raimondo issued two executive orders. Executive Order 20-17, issued April 7, requires hospitals to submit daily reports of COVID-19 data, including bed capacity, necessary supplies, and hospital bed utilization to state and federal authorities. It further requires testing entities to report results to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Executive Order 20-16 suspends certain provisions

Governor Raimondo also issued an Executive Order on April 6, 2020 that, effective immediately, authorizes the waiver and Medicaid state plan amendments and adjustments to essential provider rates. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (“EOHHS”) is the single state agency authorized to administer the Medicaid program. The Executive Order suspends the provisions of section 42-12.4-7(1) & (2) of the Rhode Island General Laws. It gives EOHHS the authority to seek permission from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to implement a temporary waiver and temporary changes to provisions of the Medicaid State Plan such as “eligibility determinations, the provider enrollment processes, the frequency and/or duration of eligibility redeterminations, level of care or service authorizations,” among others.

Additionally, the EOHHS shall designate classes of health and human services providers that (1) are facing extraordinary demand due to the COVID-19 public health emergency while also suffering disruption to their normal course of operations; (2) are necessary to keep vulnerable individuals safe in their homes to prevent further demands on health care providers; or (3) are human services providers that have been forced to respond to the unique and unanticipated circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the designated classes, EOHHS may issue temporary rates and retainer payments and adjustments.

March 30, 2020:

On Saturday, March 28, Governor Raimondo signed a Stay-At-Home Executive Order requiring all Rhode Islanders, effective immediately, to stay at home unless traveling for work and/or traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities (food, gas, medicine, etc.). Rhode Islanders may still go outside for fresh air and exercise, but they must practice social distancing.

Effective immediately, Rhode Island employers with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable those employees to telecommute or make other work-from-home arrangements. This provision shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.

The Order prohibits gatherings of more than five (5) people in any public or private space.

Effective Monday, March 30, all “non-critical” retail businesses shall cease in-person operations. Restaurants will be permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous executive orders.

Raimondo’s March 28 executive order also requires any person coming into Rhode Island from another state to self-quarantine for 14-days effective immediately. Any person who lives in Rhode Island and works in another state who can work from home is required to do so. To the extent such a person cannot perform his or her functions via telework or other work from home arrangements, that person shall self-quarantine when not at work. Neither of these quarantine restriction shall apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers. This Order supersedes a prior Executive Order that only placed quarantine requirements on those coming in from New York.

March 27, 2020:

Rhode Island Governor Raimondo extended the following three (3) executive orders until April 13, 2020 with an Executive Order signed on March 30, 2020, effective immediately:

  1. Executive Order 20-04 (Second Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Restaurants, Bars, Entertainment Venues, and Public Gatherings). Order 20-04 originally prohibited on-premises consumption of food or drink at restaurants, bars and other establishments that offer food or drink. These establishments are still allowed to offer take-out and delivery services. Note, Executive Order 20-04 originally prohibited gatherings of twenty-five (25) people, but the March 28, 2020 Executive Order overrides Order 20-04 by prohibiting gatherings of five (5) or more people.
  1. Executive Order 20-08 (Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Economic Support for Restaurants, Bars and Establishments that Offer Food). Order 20-08 originally suspended the law that “Class B licensees” only sell beer and wine for consumption on the premises. Instead, Class B licensees are permitted to sell up to two (2) bottles of wine and 144 ounces of beer in original, factory-sealed containers for take-out food orders.
  1. Executive Order 20-09 (Seventh Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Public Gatherings, Close-Contact Businesses, Public Recreation and Business Service Providers). Order 20-09 originally required all “public recreation and entertainment establishments” (e.g., theatres, bowling alleys, and zoos) and “close-contact businesses” (e.g., gyms, nail salons and barbershops) to cease in-person operations. Any businesses that remain open in Rhode Island must (i) follow CDC guidance to ensure social distancing and (ii) post appropriate notices requiring compliance with the CDC’s guidance. Note, Executive Order 20-09 originally prohibited gatherings of ten (10) people, but the March 28, 2020 Executive Order overrides Order 20-04 by prohibiting gatherings of five (5) or more people.

March 25, 2020:

Effective Tuesday, March 24, any person who returns to Rhode Island after domestic airplane travel must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The Executive Order, set to terminate on April 22, is the latest in a recent series from Governor Gina Raimondo.

A second Executive Order (20-11) issued the same day postponed the 2020 Primary to June 2, 2020 in order to conduct a predominantly mail ballot election.

On March 23, all entertainment and recreational businesses, along with barbershops, beauty salons, tattoo shops, and exercise facilities were shut down until March 30, 2020. All gatherings of more than 10 people were prohibited and all dine-in services were suspended.

The same order required all business service personnel that could work from home to do so.  “Business service personnel” include accountants, lawyers, human resources, and procurement professionals.  Rhode Island elementary and secondary school students began remote learning on March 23, 2020.

March 16, 2020:

Effective March 16 through March 30, Executive Order 20-04 prohibits any on-site food or drink consumption at Rhode Island restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other food establishments. This Executive Order also prohibits gatherings of 25 or more people.

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