Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 27, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the final steps the Commonwealth would take to fully reopen.  Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey has announced, however, that Boston will delay implementing several reopening measures for three weeks.

As we reported yesterday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's announcement signaled the final phases of COVID restrictions for Massachusetts businesses and residents. However, Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey subsequently announced that the City of Boston would delay implementing statewide reopening guidance for certain industries for three weeks, as detailed below:

  • On June 1, road races and other large outdoor events, youth and adult amateur sports, and singing at venues, restaurants, and other businesses will be permitted to resume.
  • On June 19, parades and street and agricultural festivals may resume at 50% capacity. Bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries may also reopen subject to 90-minute table limits. Food will no longer be required with alcohol and 10 people may be seated at a table.
  • On August 22, remaining Phase 4, Step 2 businesses may reopen, and capacity limits and all other industry restrictions will be rescinded pending public health metrics.

In addition to industry-specific delays, Boston will also delay its implementation of the Commonwealth's updated gathering restrictions. On April 30, public gathering limits will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Private gatherings will remain limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. On June 19, the City will align with the statewide guidance, and public and private gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 people outdoors.

Other cities in Massachusetts have also announced that they would deviate from statewide guidance, including Somerville and Cambridge. Somerville will move into a modified Phase 4, Step 1 on May 7, 2021, and Cambridge remains in Phase 3, Step 2 until further notice.  We encourage employers to check their local government's COVID-19 website to determine if your city has instituted any delays to the statewide reopening plan.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.