Impact Of COVID-19 Orders On New Hampshire Contractors: Is Construction an “Essential” Service?

By March 27, 2020 Construction, Coronavirus


In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the State of New Hampshire has issued various emergency orders aimed at reducing the spread of the Coronavirus.  For example, on March 26, 2020, the Office of the Governor signed Emergency Order #17 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, which substantially limits the activities of “non-essential” services state-wide through May 4, 2020.

The order does permit the continuation of certain activities defined as “Essential Services”.  Of relevance to contractors (and construction related service providers and professionals), the “construction of critical or strategic infrastructure” is permitted under the State’s order.  The order defines “critical or strategic infrastructure” as “public works construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, nuclear, oil refining and other critical energy services, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, municipal transfer stations, and internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services)”.

Further, “plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, construction sites and projects, and needed facilities” are exempt from the State’s order.

In light of the rapid developments, it is important for contractors and related businesses to remain informed on the applicable regulations and to ensure that they are permitted to perform work during these unprecedented times.  The scope of the order is subject to change as the State has expressly provided that it is a “living document” subject to ongoing review and possible changes.

Perkins Thompson is staying up to date on the emergency regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and is available to answer any questions you may have.  If you would like to speak with the firm about these issues, you can email Joe Talbot or call him directly at 207-774-2635.