Governor Baker Extends "Stay at Home" Advisory to May 4

March 31, 2020 -- As you may have heard, Governor Baker has extended his closure of non-essential businesses and the Stay At Home advisory through May 4th. We understand that this disruption to our normal lives has caused a great deal of difficulty for many of you, and we want you to know that we will continue to be a resource and support residents across the City.

The Governor’s decision to extend these orders aligns with the federal social distancing guidelines as well as the order temporarily closing Massachusetts public schools.

Public health experts are seeing positive signs that social distancing is working and continue to reiterate that it is the best step we can take to protect ourselves and to also protect us from infecting others.

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses will remain open.
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery.
  • You can still go out for a walk, as long as you maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from others.

All businesses, other than essential business listed below, are required to cease operations.

  • Categories of COVID-19 Essential Services:
    • Health Care & Public Health
    • Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders
    • Food & Agriculture
    • Critical Manufacturing
    • Transportation
    • Energy
    • Water & Wastewater
    • Public Works
    • Communications and Information Technology
    • Financial Services
    • Defense Industry Base
    • Chemical Manufacturing & Hazardous Materials
    • Other Designated Community Based Essential Function & Government Operations
    • News Media
  • A full list of all exemptions to the order can be found here.
  • Public transportation will continue to run and roads will remain open for those who provide essential services.

We are all in this together. Staying home for now is the best thing we can do for one another. The City is updating its website on a daily basis with resources and information.

We will continue to communicate updates to you and appreciate all of you who have reached out with questions.


March 23, 2020 -- On behalf of Mayor Siddiqui and City Manager DePasquale, we want to express our sincere thanks to all Cambridge residents, City staff, first responders, teachers, workers, frontline healthcare providers, and everyone who has worked so hard this week to prepare our City to navigate an unprecedented crisis. The steps that we have all taken are difficult, but they will make a difference in keeping our City as healthy and safe as possible. 


To that end, we are about to go one step further, and we ask for your help and cooperation as we enter what will be a critical time period for managing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier today, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” (outlined below) to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon.

Governor Baker has also directed the Department of Public Health to issue a “Stay at Home” advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols. Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period. Residents over 70 years of age or with underlying health conditions, who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19, should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.

This means we are asking nearly everyone to stay home as much as possible for the next two weeks. We understand that this news may seem unsettling, but please know that this decision is being made because our public health officials are seeing positive trends from the efforts all of us have already made over the past week to socially distance ourselves.

Public health leaders believe that a two week “Stay at Home” advisory, and the resulting concerted effort to keep everyone at home in Massachusetts, will have a dramatic and positive effect on the trend lines. It will also not drastically differ from much of what we have already been doing as a City and voluntarily.

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses will remain open.
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery.
  • You are still permitted to go outside for fresh air and exercise, but please maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from others and avoid gathering in groups of 10 people or more.

So what does today’s announcement mean?

  • The Department of Public Health is now prohibiting any gathering of 10 people or more, including:
    • Community, civic, public, leisure, or faith-based events
    • Concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, weddings, funerals, and any similar event or activity that brings together 10 or more persons in any confined indoor or outdoor space.
    • Athletic activities that bring participants into close, physical contact, whether they are conducted indoors or outdoors, are prohibited even when involving 10 or fewer people
      • This includes basketball and tennis. Note that the City of Cambridge has closed all public basketball, tennis courts, tot lots and playgrounds until further notice.

  • All businesses, other than essential business listed below, are required to cease operations.
    • Categories of COVID-19 Essential Services:
      • Health Care & Public Health
      • Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders
      • Food & Agriculture
      • Critical Manufacturing
      • Transportation
      • Energy
      • Water & Wastewater
      • Public Works
      • Communications and Information Technology
      • Financial Services
      • Defense Industry Base
      • Chemical Manufacturing & Hazardous Materials
      • Other Designated Community Based Essential Function & Government Operations
      • News Media

    • A full list of all exemptions to the order can be found here.

  • Massachusetts has not instituted a travel ban. Public transportation will continue to run and roads will remain open for those who provide essential services.
  • A few things to remember:
  • Our hope is that we can rely on our incredible Cambridge residents to do their part to flatten the curve.
  • This order is temporary, and it is not cause for panic. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other critical services will remain open.
  • You can still take a walk and get fresh air, but please keep six feet between you and others.
  • Check in on your neighbors, especially those who are vulnerable. A short phone call can really help to combat isolation.
  • This is a short-term sacrifice with long-term benefits.

Some people might ask why “flattening the curve” matters. First and foremost, it alleviates strain on our incredible healthcare teams and hospitals, ensuring that there are enough beds and equipment to help those in need. Second, slowing the spread helps protect the most vulnerable among us—our seniors and those with underlying health conditions.

We understand that this is a shared sacrifice and has disrupted people’s daily lives across the City. But we have the utmost faith and confidence in our neighbors throughout Cambridge, who so often come together to support each other and the entire community.

Page was posted on 3/23/2020 7:02 PM
Page was last modified on 4/2/2020 10:33 AM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement


Service Requests

Enter a service request via Commonwealth Connect for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here