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COVID-19: Reopening in the City of Boston

Many City services adjusted hours and operations because of the crisis. We'll continue to keep this page updated with the latest information.

Latest updates

The City of Boston has moved into a modified Phase 4, Step 1 of the state’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, effective Monday, March 22, 2021.

The City will not advance beyond the current reopening steps until the citywide testing positivity rate stays below 2.75% — as calculated by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) — for two consecutive weeks.

Gatherings and events:
  • In Boston, all private gatherings and events will remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Public gatherings in Boston may increase to 60 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, lower than the state's limits of 100 and 150 people, respectively.
Industry update:

In alignment with the state, the following industries in Boston may reopen or resume on Monday, March 22, subject to certain capacity limits and safety measures: 

  • Indoor performance venues (such as concert halls, theaters, and other seated indoor performance spaces) can open at 50% capacity, with a 500-person maximum capacity.
  • Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, and obstacle courses) can open at 50% capacity.
  • Approved live entertainment may resume in restaurants, except singing.
  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks can host spectators at 12%  capacity. These venues must submit a COVID Response Plan to the City of Boston’s Licensing Board before beginning to host events.
  • Overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate.
  • Exhibition and convention halls can reopen, subject to gathering limits and event rules.
  • Dance floors will be permitted at weddings and approved events only.
Activities and businesses that remain closed:

The following activities and businesses will not be allowed to reopen until further notice:

  • Road races, street festivals, parades, and fairs
  • Amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor and indoor water parks
  • Indoor and outdoor ball pits
  • Saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms at fitness centers, health clubs, and other facilities
  • Beer gardens, breweries, wineries, and distilleries
  • Bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs offering entertainment, beverages, or dancing without seated food service

Business guidance

Industry Effective March 22
Aquariums Open at 50% capacity
Close contact personal care Open at 50% capacity
Construction Allowed with approved safety plans
Driving and flight schools Open at 50% capacity
Exhibition and convention halls

Open at 25% capacity (Indoor events limited to 60 people)

Fitness Centers and Health Clubs Open at 50% capacity
Golf (indoor areas) Open at 50% capacity
Hotel and lodging establishments Open at 50% capacity in common areas
Houses of worship Open at 50% capacity
Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs)

Indoor events limited to 60 people

Dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only.

Indoor and outdoor gaming arcades associated with gaming devices Open at 50% capacity
Indoor dining at restaurants

Capacity limit is based on six feet between tables.

Approved live entertainment may resume in restaurants, except singing.

Indoor historic spaces/sites Open at 50% capacity
Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in “arts/education/life sciences” for persons 18 years and older 25 people
Indoor performance venues (such as concert halls, theaters, and other seated indoor performance spaces) Open at 50% capacity, with a 500-person maximum capacity

Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under)

Does not apply to collegiate or professional sports

Open at 50% capacity
Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cases, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing) Open at 50% capacity
Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, and obstacle courses) Open at 50% capacity
Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, and ballparks

Can host spectators at 12% capacity

These venues must submit a COVID Response Plan to the City of Boston’s Licensing Board before beginning to host events.

Libraries Boston Public Library locations are not open for browsing, but services will remain available through the BPL To Go program.
Motion picture, TV, streaming production 50% capacity
Movie theaters Open at 50% capacity
Museums Open at 50% capacity
Office space Open at 50% capacity
Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations, including those in parks, reservations, etc. 100 people
Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues 500 people or 50% capacity
Retail

Open at 50% capacity

Sight-seeing and other organized tours Open at 50% capacity
  • If you are a small business owner, please contact smallbiz@boston.gov.
  • If you are a restaurant owner with questions specific to licensing or the application process for bar seating, please contact licensingboard@boston.gov.
  • If you are in any other sector impacted by these restrictions — or you have general questions about the City of Boston’s approach to reopening — please reach out to reopening@boston.gov.