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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 and timeline

The City of Boston will move into a modified version of the current phase of the state's reopening plan, effective Friday, April 30. The City will delay most of the state’s reopening guidance by three weeks.

Face coverings update

Effective Friday, April 30, Boston will align with the state’s updated Face Coverings Order:

  • Face coverings will be required at all times at indoor and outdoor venues and events, except when eating or drinking.
  • Face coverings are recommended to be worn both inside and outside during small gatherings at private homes.
  • Face coverings are not required outside in public spaces when individuals are able to remain at a safe distance from others.
Public and private gatherings
  • Also effective April 30, public gatherings in Boston may increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.
  • In Boston, all private gatherings and events in private residences will remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Both public and private gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors on June 19.
Effective Monday, May 10:
  • Boston will allow indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks to increase capacity to 25 percent.
Effective Tuesday, June 1:

The City plans to allow the following industries to reopen or resume:

  • road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events
  • youth and adult amateur sports tournaments for moderate- and high-risk sports, and
  • singing indoors at performance venues, restaurants, event venues and other businesses, subject to the state’s Theater and Performance Venue guidance.
Effective Saturday, June 19:

Boston plans to allow the following industries to reopen or resume:

  • street festivals, parades, and agricultural festivals are allowed at 50 percent capacity, and
  • bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries for seated-service only, subject to a 90-minute table limit, and no dance floors. Food will no longer be required with alcohol service, and 10 people can be seated at a table.
Effective Sunday, August 22:

The City plans to allow the following industries to reopen or resume:

  • dance clubs and nightclubs
  • saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, health clubs, and
  • ball pits.

If public health metrics justify continued safe reopening, industry restrictions will be lifted and 100 percent capacity will be allowed for all industries. All businesses will be expected to adhere to ongoing safety guidance, and mask wearing will continue to be required indoors.

Read the latest update

Business guidance

Industry Effective March 22 Effective April 30
Aquariums Open at 50% capacity No change
Close contact personal care Open at 50% capacity No change
Construction Allowed with approved safety plans No change
Driving and flight schools Open at 50% capacity No change
Exhibition and convention halls

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

Indoor events limited to 100 people
Fitness Centers and Health Clubs Open at 50% capacity No change
Golf (indoor areas) Open at 50% capacity No change
Hotel and lodging establishments Open at 50% capacity in common areas No change
Houses of worship Open at 50% capacity No change
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 events limited to 100 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 No change
Indoor dining at restaurants

Capacity limit is based on six feet between tables.

Approved live entertainment may resume in restaurants, except singing.

No change
Indoor historic spaces/sites Open at 50% capacity No change
Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in “arts/education/life sciences” for persons 18 years and older 25 people No change
Indoor performance venues (such as concert halls, theaters, and other seated indoor performance spaces) Open at 50% capacity, with a 500-person maximum capacity No change

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

Does not apply to collegiate or professional sports

Open at 50% capacity No change
Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cases, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing) Open at 50% capacity No change
Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact (such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, and obstacle courses) Open at 50% capacity No change
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.

No change
Libraries Boston Public Library locations are not open for browsing, but services will remain available through the BPL To Go program. No change
Motion picture, TV, streaming production 50% capacity No change
Movie theaters Open at 50% capacity No change
Museums Open at 50% capacity No change
Office space Open at 50% capacity No change
Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations, including those in parks, reservations, etc. 100 people 150 people
Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues 500 people or 50% capacity No change
Retail

Open at 50% capacity

No change
Sight-seeing and other organized tours Open at 50% capacity No change
  • 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.