Rhode Island

Updated: May 22, 2020


Rhode Island has entered Phase II of its Reopening as of May 22, 2020 pursuant to the state’s 37th Supplemental Emergency Declaration. Under Phase II:

  • Social gatherings are limited to 15 people
  • Domestic travel restrictions are relaxed, and 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions.
  • Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return.
  • State parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions.
  • Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions.
  • Non-critical retailers can relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores and malls can reopen with restrictions.
  • Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions.
  • Haircare & personal services (including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services) may reopen with restrictions.
  • Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions.
  • Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis.
  • Child care services resume June 1, and summer camps and small group youth sports practice will resume June 29 with restrictions.

Updated April 10, 2020

Extension of Various Executive Orders

Rhode Island issued an Extension Order extending the effective dates of various Executive Orders—including its Stay at Home and Business Closure Order—through May 8, 2020.  This is aligned with the recent extension of the state’s Declaration of Disaster Emergency Order through May 8, 2020.

Executive Order 20-14

Executive Summary

Rhode Island’s Executive Order 20-14, issued on March 28, 2020, directs all Rhode Island residents to stay home unless traveling to work, for medical treatment or to obtain necessities, and it closes all non-critical retail businesses with respect to in-person operations. The order’s closure requirements are limited to enumerated retail businesses. The order also mandates 14-day quarantines for certain out-of-state visitors and prohibits gatherings of more than five people in various public or private spaces. The State provides guidance regarding retail businesses that are deemed critical or non-critical. The stay-at-home aspects of the order allows Rhode Island residents to leave their homes for travel to and from work for critical retail businesses, as well as for businesses that are not subject to the order.

Summary of Order

  • Executive Order 20-13 was issued on March 28, 2020 and took immediate effect except for the retail business closure provision, which became effective March 30, 2020.  The order remains in effect until April 13, 2020 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by subsequent executive order.
  • The order requires all individuals in Rhode Island to stay home with enumerated exceptions, which include travel to work.  This permits travel to critical retail businesses not subject to the order’s closure requirements, and to other businesses in the State outside the retail and restaurant sectors covered by the Order.
  • Critical retail businesses that may continue in-person operations include:
    • Food and beverage stores
    • Pharmacies and medical supply stores, compassion centers
    • Pet supply stores
    • Printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, office supply
    • Gas stations
    • Laundromats
    • Electronics and telecommunications stores
    • Industrial, construction, agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, general power equipment
    • Funeral homes
    • Auto repair and supply
    • Banks and credit unions
    • Firearms stores
    • Healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores
    • Other stores and businesses identified as critical by the Department of Business Regulation (DBR).
  • Questions on the guidelines can be submitted online to the DBR by way of a web form.
  • Restaurants are permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous executive orders.
  • Out-of-state visitors in the State for a non-work-related purpose must self-quarantine for 14 days except for public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.  This builds on prior executive orders imposing quarantine restrictions on travelers from New York State and domestic air travelers.
  • Pursuant to the order, any Rhode Island resident who works in another state and is able to work from home is required to do so. Otherwise, such resident must self-quarantine when not at work.
  • The order’s quarantine restriction does not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
  • The order prohibits gatherings of more than five people in any public or private space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, library, theater, place of worship, parade, fair, festival, park or beach.

Social Distancing Requirements

All critical retail employers are required to implement social distancing and to work from home to the extent possible. The State has provided specific guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and crowd prevention for retail and grocery stores.


Governor Gina Raimondo has publicly announced that state police would monitor license plates on highways and go door-to-door to seek contact information and enforce the quarantine on out-of-state visitors from New York, in particular, who are planning to stay in Rhode Island.