New Hampshire Orders Workplace Closures, Orders Residents to Stay Home


By: Alexander Pyle

March 27, 2020

On March 26, 2020, Governor Sununu issued an order requiring businesses and other organizations that do not provide essential services to close their physical workplaces, commencing at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020 and continuing until 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020. The order also requires all citizens of New Hampshire to stay at home, with certain exceptions. A copy of the Governor’s order is available at Here are some of the specifics of the order:

  • Businesses and other organizations that provide essential services are required to develop strategies, procedures and practices to allow for social distancing protocols consistent with guidance from the CDC and the Department of Public Health. Essential services are defined in an exhibit to the order, available at The following general categories of services are specified as essential:
    • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and First Responders
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Health Care, Public Health, and Human Services
    • Energy
    • Water and Wastewater
    • Transportation and Logistics
    • Public Works
    • Communications and Information Technology
    • Other Community-Based Essential Functions
    • Manufacturing
    • Hazardous Materials
    • Financial Services
    • Chemical
    • Defense Industrial Base
  • Other types of services may be designated as essential by written approval of the Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs and the Governor. Updates to the list of essential services, when made, will be available at Requests to be designated as an essential service may be submitted to and should include basic contact information and a brief justification.
  • Businesses and organizations, whether or not deemed essential, are encouraged to continue their operations through remote means that do not require employees, customers, or the public to report to the company or organization’s physical facility.
  • The requirement for New Hampshire residents to remain at home or in their place of residence is subject to the following exceptions:
    • getting fresh air or exercise, provided that social distancing protocols are observed;
    • outdoor recreation, provided that social distancing protocols and prior executive orders are observed;
    • running essential errands, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or laundromat;
    • visiting a spouse, parent or child;
    • providing care for another person;
    • going to a gas station;
    • ordering and picking up take-out food;
    • retrieving deliveries;
    • receiving essential medical care or services;
    • performing employment duties for a business or organization that provides essential services or an activity not covered by the Governor’s order (as described below); and
    • performing employment duties as part of working remotely for a business that does not provide essential services.
  • The Governor’s order does not apply to:
    • K-12 schools;
    • state government, local and county governments or legislative bodies, the state legislature or the judiciary; or
    • churches, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship, provided that those organizations comply with the Governor’s prior order banning scheduled gatherings of 10 or more attendees.