New Hampshire Takes First Step Towards Re-Opening Economy

Mike Tule Headshot
Michael B. Tule
Director and Vice Chair, Corporate Department
Published: McLane.com
May 4, 2020
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(Co-written by Gena Lavallee)

The State of New Hampshire is gradually taking steps to re-open the economy.  On May 1, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #40, which modifies and extends Emergency Order #17, “Closure of non-essential businesses and requiring Granite Staters to stay at home.” New Hampshire has also summarized the guidance pertaining to specific industries in an easy to review format, called “Stay at Home 2.0” Guidance.

The new Order and other orders issued by the Governor can be found by clicking on the following: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-and-media/emergency-orders-2020

Stay at Home 2.0 Guidance can be found by clicking on the following:

https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/

Pursuant to the new Order, businesses providing “Essential Services” are permitted to continue to operate, subject to their compliance with industry specific guidelines and the newly issued health and safety guidelines in Exhibit B, “Universal Business Guidelines,” and Exhibit C, “Guidelines for Businesses, Organizations and Sectors Continuing to Operate.” The Order also permits non-essential businesses operating in several specific sectors to re-open, subject to conditions.

Exhibit A to the Order identifies New Hampshire industry sectors that provide “Essential Services.” The list of Essential Services is unchanged from the original list in Emergency Order #17. However, the new Order provides that additional services may be designated as Essential and added to Exhibit A upon written approval of the Governor and the Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs.

Exhibit B establishes guidelines for employers and employees to maintain healthy business operations and a healthy work environment, based on recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Exhibit B applies to both businesses providing Essential Services and businesses that are re-opening all or part of their operations pursuant the Order.

Exhibit C provides detailed guidance for businesses operating in six industries. Businesses operating in the following 6 industries may continue to operate in accordance with the guidelines in Exhibit C and all applicable industry specific guidance, and they must comply with the requirements of Exhibit B, whether they have continued operations as Essential businesses or if they are resuming their operations:

  • Food Services Industry – Phase 1: Take Out, Curbside, Delivery and Outdoor Dining, providing guidelines for take out, curbside and delivery, to be extended to permit outside dining starting on May 18, 2020;
  • Public and Private Campgrounds, providing for access to campgrounds only to members or residents of New Hampshire;
  • State Parks, providing for the opening of certain trails on May 23, 2020 and the continued closure of public ocean beaches;
  • Hospitals, providing for the resumption of elective and non-emergency healthcare services;
  • Manufacturing; and
  • Retail, providing that, effective on May 11, 2020, all retail establishments whose physical facilities were previously closed may open their physical facilities to workers, customers and the public and resume in person operations.

For more details on compliance with the new guidelines contained in the Order and its exhibits, click here to read the article written by Charla Stevens, which offers advice to New Hampshire employers.

Exhibit D, effective on May 11, 2020, provides detailed guidance for businesses resuming all or part of their operations and is directed specifically towards three industries, Golf, Cosmetology – Barbershops and Salons, and Drive-In Movie Theaters.

The Governor’s Economic Re-Opening Task Force will continue to provide recommendations and guidelines to the Governor for the re-opening of the New Hampshire economy. The Governor is expected to issue additional orders allowing businesses to resume their operations. McLane Middleton’s Corporate Department is available to provide counsel to businesses as they consider how and when to resume their operations in New Hampshire.