Today, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city of Boston will remain in a modified Phase 2 Step 2 of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan for at least three weeks. That brings us to January 27, 2021. According to Boston.Gov, these are the industries that must remain closed:
- Indoor fitness centers and health clubs, including gyms using alternative spaces. One-on-one personal training sessions are allowed.
- Movie theaters
- Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under)
- This does not apply to collegiate or professional sports.
- Indoor pools may remain open for all ages under pre-registration format structure limited to one person per swim lane.
- Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cages, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock-climbing)
- Sightseeing and other organized tours (bus tours, duck tours, harbor cruises, whale watching)
- Indoor historical spaces & sites
- Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs)
- Private social clubs may continue to operate.
Not all industries in Boston must remain closed. These are the industries that are allowed to remain open within specific guidelines:
- Indoor dining in restaurants with a 90 minute limit on seatings. Ancillary activities such as pool tables, darts, trivia, etc. are prohibited.
- Bar seating is prohibited unless express written approval is issued by Boston's Licensing Board.
- Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education & life sciences for persons 18 years and older may continue to operate within the 10-person capacity limit.
- Outdoor event spaces used for gatherings and celebrations within the 25-person capacity limit, including those in parks, reservations, and other outdoor spaces not designated in Phase Four.
- Outdoor theaters and outdoor performance venues may continue to operate within the 25-person capacity limit.
- Motion picture, television and streaming production may continue to operate.
Additionally, when it comes to various industry capacities, this is a breakdown of what is allowed:
- Office spaces may remain open at 25 percent capacity.
- Indoor dining in restaurants may remain in operation at 25 percent of seating capacity (Workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)
- Close contact personal services may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)
- Places of worship may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)
- Retail businesses may remain open at 25 percent capacity (workers and staff are excluded from the occupancy count.)
- Golf facilities may remain open at 25 percent capacity (for indoor spaces)
With Boston set to remain in Phase 2 Step 2, as a business owner or resident, how do you feel? Are you frustrated? I can see that frustrations would be running high but unfortunately what else can the city do to try and reduce the COVID cases? I don't think the city wants to do it but they can't let the virus run amuck more than it already has. I understand people are getting frustrated with it. Even Governor Baker flipped yesterday at a press conference when he was talking about how the COVID vaccine can't come fast enough and proceeded to slam his hand down. You can call it government overreach with these restrictions but at the same time we elect these officials to oversee the health and wellbeing of our state and accomplish that in any way possible. If the COVID numbers keep increasing, unfortunately, so will the restrictions. If you want to change that and get back to "normal" we have follow the restrictions and hope the vaccine distribution plan works wonders this year. I hate this saying and this whole Phase 2 Step 2 sucks for many people but this phrase is appropriate here, it is what it is.