Following Governor Charlie Baker’s announcements on Tuesday regarding the state’s mask mandate and reopening plan, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced how the City of Boston would respond to the changes at her own press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
“Our city has maintained an unrelenting focus on addressing the impacts of COVID-19,” Janey said. “The metrics that guide our course are trending in the right direction.”
Janey said that over the past two weeks, the city’s positivity rate has decreased by 41 percent to 3.6%, “below our threshold goal of five percent,” she said.
“Our citywide vaccination effort is also encouraging,” Janey said, adding that more than 55 percent of Bostonians ages 16 years and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
When it comes to the reopening plan, Janey said that “in some areas Boston will join the Commonwealth,” but adjustments will be made to the reopening schedule in others.
She said that Boston will be delaying some of the Step 2, Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan for three weeks.
“I am committed to protecting both the lives and the livelihoods of Boston residents,” Janey said.
She said that on April 30, the capacity limit will be increased and 100 people will be permitted in indoor settings, and 150 people in outdoor settings, but for private homes, the gathering limit will remain at 10 people inside and 25 people outside.
On May 10, Boston will allow a capacity increase at places like indoor and outdoor stadiums and ballparks from 12 to 25 percent.
The three week delay will begin with permitting road races and similar athletic events on June 1, instead of May 10, when the state will allow them. Indoor singing will also be allowed to return in Boston on June 1 “with strict social distancing requirements for various indoor settings,” Janey said.
On June 19, “subject to public health and vaccination data,” the gathering limit will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors, and bars and beer gardens will be allowed to serve alcohol without also requiring the purchase of food. Additionally, parades, street festivals, and the like will be permitted at 50 percent capacity.
By August 22, the city anticipates lifting all restrictions and places dance clubs and nightclubs, saunas and hot tubs at health clubs, and ball pits will be permitted to open, three weeks later than the state, which is set to lift restrictions on August 1 if the public health data allows.
“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, according to the city’s website.
“Boston’s reopening timeline reflects the progress we have made, the progress that remains, and our shared fight against the pandemic,” Janey said.
On April 30, the city will join the state in removing the requirement for masks to be worn outdoors, but only if a person is able to socially distance from others. Masks are still required at all times indoors, and “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,” according to the city.
“Over the past year, mask wearing has played an important role in protecting ourselves and others,” Janey said. “I encourage Boston residents to continue to wear masks as we recover together.”
Janey also reminded residents to continue to wash their hands, keep a safe distance from others, and get vaccinated.
“Working together with residents, businesses, houses of worship, and community groups, we can ensure Boston’s recovery, reopening, and renewal remains safe and equitable,” she said.
For more information and details about Boston’s timeline for reopening, visit boston.gov/reopening.