In one of his final acts as the 54th Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh announced the city will move into a modified version of Massachusetts’ multi-step re-opening plan next week.
On Monday, communities across the state will move into Phase 4, Step 1, which includes increased capacities for public gatherings and the opening of large sports venues. In Boston, capacities will move to 60 people inside and 100 outside – less than the state’s 100 and 150 limits. The city will allow indoor recreational activities and indoor performance venues to open at 50 percent capacity, a move most communities in the state made earlier this month.
Singing will not be allowed at indoor performance venues due to risk of spreading COVID-carrying droplets.
The city will act in tandem with the state and allow large venues such as Fenway Park and TD Garden to use 12 percent of their audience capacity.
The limits, Walsh said, will only increase when the city-wide testing-positivity rate drops from its current 3.5 percent to below 2.75 percent and holds steady for at least two weeks.
Density, Walsh said, dictates the “cautious” approach to pandemic re-opening.
“We have 700,000 people that live in the city of Boston, and we still have people coming in to the city for various [reasons] whether it's schools or hospitals or work or things like that, so we want to make sure that we're being careful," he said to reporters Friday.
Additionally, Walsh announced a forthcoming expansion of the city’s paid parental leave policy. It will increase from six weeks to twelve weeks for employees who have worked for the city for at least a year. The change is set to take effect in May.
Acknowledging a nearly two-month drought on taking live questions from reporters, Walsh said he expects to hold a press conference Monday and vowed to answer “any question” asked of him.
The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Walsh's appoint as Secretary of Labor that day.