What's Different About Boston's COVID-19 Reopening Plan On Monday?

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Effective Monday March 1st, Massachusetts will move into Phase 3 Step 2 of the state's COVID-19 reopening plan, but the City of Boston will have a few exceptions.

According to Mayor Marty Walsh, any of the city's indoor activities "with greater potential for contact" will remain closed until March 22nd. That includes indoor performance venues like concert halls and theaters, and indoor recreational activities like laser tag and roller skating.

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston has taken a cautious approach to reopening," Mayor Walsh said. "We've prioritized the health and safety of our residents, and we've made decisions based on the latest public health data and metrics. We've only moved forward when it's safe."

The Commonwealth will move to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday March 1st which will include increasing capacity to 50 percent for a number of industries.

In every town and city except Boston, concert halls and theaters will be allowed to increase to a 50 percent capacity with a 500-person maximum. Indoor recreational activities with greater potential for contact, like laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, and obstacle courses, will also open at 50 percent capacity throughout the state, except in Boston.

Starting Monday, all restaurants, including in Boston, will no longer be subject to a seated capacity limit. However, there must still be six feet between tables, no more than 6 people per table will be allowed, and there will still be a 90-minute time limit on tables.

The state said it plans to transition to Step 1 of Phase 4 of the reopening plan on Monday, March 22nd, provided the state's public health metrics continue to improve.

Mayor Walsh said the City will continue evaluating the public health data leading up to March 22nd to determine the next steps in Boston's reopening plan. If public health data supports continued reopening, Walsh said Boston is prepared to align with the Commonwealth's plan to move into Step 1 of Phase 4 on Monday, March 22nd.

The city of Somerville will also not follow the state's reopening plan schedule. Somerville will remain in the limited Phase 3, Step 1 stage until at least March 15th.

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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