COVID-19 information
/
For the latest updates, please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
Back to top
Last updated:

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

Latest City of Boston update:

Given the improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases and the City's positivity rate over the past few weeks, Mayor Walsh announced that Boston will align with the state's opening guidance by lifting the 25% capacity restriction on local businesses, including restaurants and gyms.

Effective Monday, February 8, at 5 a.m., businesses can operate at 40% capacity, an increase from the current 25% capacity limits. Check below on this page to see how each industry is impacted.

  • All gatherings and events remain subject to current capacity limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • We're asking residents to continue to follow public health guidelines on our COVID-19 website to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Latest state update:

Before the holidays, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts implemented temporary capacity limits for a wide range of businesses. With public health data improving, the state announced that it is now adjusting capacity limits from 25% to 40%, effective Monday, February 8, at 5 a.m.

Please note:
  • Gathering limits still remain in place in the state, with a maximum 10 people allowed at an indoor gathering, and 25 outside.
  • Sector-specific workplace safety rules remain unchanged.
Review the state update

Business Guidance

Industry Effective FEbruary 1 Effective February 8
Aquariums Open at 25% capacity No change
Close contact personal care

Open at 25% capacity

(Workers and staff are excluded from capacity count)

Open at 40% capacity

(Employees do not count toward the 40% limit)

Construction Allowed with approved safety plans No change
Driving and flight schools Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Fitness Centers and Health Clubs Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Golf (indoor areas) Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Hotel and lodging establishments Open at 25% capacity in common areas Open at 40% capacity in common areas
Houses of worship

Open at 25% capacity

(Workers and staff are excluded from capacity count)

Open at 40% capacity

Indoor and outdoor gaming arcades associated with gaming devices Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Indoor dining at restaurants

25% of seating capacity

(Workers and staff are excluded from capacity count)

Open at 40% capacity

(Employees do not count toward the 40% limit)

Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs) Open at 25% capacity (indoor events still limited to 10 people) No change
Indoor historic spaces/sites Open at 25% capacity No change
Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in “arts/education/life sciences” for persons 18 years and older 25 people No change

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

Does not apply to collegiate or professional sports

Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cases, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing) Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Libraries Boston Public Library locations are not open for browsing, but services will remain available through the BPL To Go program. 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 40% capacity No change
Movie theaters Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity, up to 50 people
Museums Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Office space Open at 25% capacity Open at 40% capacity
Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations, including those in parks, reservations, etc. 25 people No change
Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues 50 people or 25% capacity No change
Retail

25% capacity

(Workers and staff are excluded from capacity count)

Open at 40% capacity

Sight-seeing and other organized tours Open at 25% capacity 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.