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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

City services expanding:

On May 11, Mayor Kim Janey announced the upcoming expansion of in-person City services at Boston City Hall, the Boston Public Library system (BPL), and the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF):

Boston City Hall: 

Starting Monday, June 7, 2021, Boston City Hall will be open to the public by appointment only for a fourth day each week. In addition to Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, residents will be able to make in-person appointments on Monday as well. Check the latest status of City departments.

Boston Public Library:

The Boston Public Library will reopen for limited in-person services in June. The Library will prioritize bringing back critical services that help residents with economic and educational recovery. They will also be scheduling robust summer programs for both adults and youth.

Boston Center for Youth & Families (BCYF):

BCYF will increase its youth programming to align with Phase Four, Step One of the Reopening Massachusetts plan. This will allow for the expansion of programs for children and youth, including arts and crafts, fitness classes, and game nights. BCYF will also offer summer day programs at several centers.

Read the latest update

Current status:

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

Face coverings update

On Friday, April 30, Boston aligned with the state’s updated Face Coverings Order:

  • Face coverings are 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 increased 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 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.

For more about the City's reopening plans for the summer, check the update link below:

summer reopening update

Business guidance

Industry Effective May 10
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 100 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 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
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 25% 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.

Update: The Boston Public Library will reopen for limited in-person services in June.

Motion picture, TV, streaming production Open at 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. 150 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.