BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — According to Mayor Marty Walsh, curfew hours for Boston businesses will be lifted next week, but the next wave of businesses can't reopen just yet.
Effective Monday January 25th, the statewide Stay At Home Order between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and the Early Closure Order requiring certain businesses to close by 9:30 p.m. will both be lifted.
The state is also extending the temporary limit on capacity and gatherings, currently at 25 percent, until February 8th.
At a press conference Friday, Mayor Walsh said businesses in Boston will be allowed to stay open past 9:30 p.m. starting Monday, but he said the list of "allowed in-person activities" in the City will not change.
That means certain industries must remain closed, including indoor fitness centers and health clubs, movie theaters, museums, and aquariums.
"Yesterday, the State made some adjustments to the statewide reopening plan," Walsh said. "The State’s lifting of early closing times will apply to businesses in Boston. However, the list of allowed in-person activities will continue to be subject to the City of Boston’s temporary rollback to Phase 2."
Boston is currently in a modified version of Phase Two, Step Two of the Reopening Massachusetts plan until at least January 27th.
Walsh said the City will continue to evaluate the situation regarding COVID-19, and officials will provide an update on "whether the pause will end or continue next week."
"This rollback was an effort to slow the spread of the virus, protect hospital capacity, and avoid a more severe shutdown later on," Walsh said. "We are taking a cautious approach, and doing what’s right for Boston.... The last thing we want is to reopen too quickly, just to have to close down again."
Mayor Walsh's announcement follows the state's first case of the U.K.-variant of COVID-19, which was confirmed in a Boston resident in her 20's last week.
"This weekend, the first case of the new COVID-19 variant was detected in a Boston resident who traveled internationally. We recently learned another Massachusetts resident has tested positive for the variant," Walsh said. "Boston Public Health’s Infectious Disease Bureau is working closely with our partners at the state Department of Public Health to monitor this situation."
Written by Brit Smith
(Photo: Getty Images)