For the first time during the pandemic, the national coronavirus data tracker has moved Massachusetts to “severe outbreak” status. With over 90,000 current active infections and rising hospitalizations, now is a great time to refresh yourself on the latest state guidelines regarding indoor and outdoor socializing, restaurants, and more.
The “Phase 2, Step 2” of Boston’s reopening, which was announced in December, has since been renewed with further modifications. This means that gyms and indoor fitness centers (except one-on-one personal training sessions, youth athletics, and collegiate and professional sports, and indoor pools), cinemas, museums, aquariums, sightseeing and organized tours, indoor recreational venues such as bowling alleys, indoor historical spaces and sites, indoor event spaces, and indoor and outdoor gaming arcades will remain closed.
Indoor dining may remain open but only under regulations, including restricted bar seating and 90-minute limits on seating. Outdoor event spaces, theaters, and performance venues that follow a 25-person capacity limit along with motion picture and television production can continue to operate.
Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 25 people in both public and private settings.
“Too many people are going out to dinner with people outside of their households, outside of their bubble,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at Tuesday’s briefing. “People have a few drinks, and they kind of wander around, sometimes to see other people, and they table hop. We need this to stop. We can’t have you table hopping in a restaurant. We need to keep local restaurants open, but only if people follow the public health guidelines.”
Statewide regulations set capacity limits on restaurants, bars, stores, libraries, places of worship, offices, etc, with many cities following Boston’s lead.