BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday announced that Boston will be moving forward into the next phase of its reopening process, in part due to COVID-19 metrics that have improved since the holiday season.
Boston will shift to Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening plan starting on Monday, Feb. 1, Walsh said during a news conference at City Hall.
“All businesses and activities that are allowed to operate in Phase 3, Step 1 can reopen with capacity limits in place,” Walsh said.
The list of businesses and activities includes indoor fitnesses centers and health clubs, indoor gyms using alternative spaces, movie theaters, aquariums, museums, indoor recreational athletic facilities, batting cages, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock climbing, sightseeing, bus tours, harbor cruises, whale watches, indoor event spaces, indoor and outdoor arcades, and indoor historical sites.
Most businesses will be subject to the 25 percent indoor capacity limit, which Massachusetts extended through Feb. 8, Walsh noted.
The capacity for indoor gatherings and events will remain capped at no more than 10 people. The outdoor capacity limit remains at 25 people. This applies to public and private spaces.
The average number of daily positive tests for the week of Jan. 17 was 416, a number that is down from the week prior, according to Walsh. The average positivity rate also dropped from 7.5 percent to 7.2 percent.
Walsh added that positive test rates have dropped in every neighborhood across the city.
“We’re encouraged by seeing these numbers go down a bit. It’s still high, too high for were we want to be right now,” Walsh said. “But the numbers are definitely trending and going in the right direction.”
In mid-December, Walsh paused the city’s reopening and moved back to a modified Phase 2, Step 2 program due to an anticipated surge in coronavirus cases linked to Christmas and New Year’s gatherings.
Walsh urged all Bostonians to continue to wear masks in public, avoid large gatherings, and practice good hygiene habits.
“We need to continue to stay vigilant,” Walsh said. “I want to thank everybody for doing your part day in and day out.”
Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced that the state will be entering the Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout plan on Feb. 1.
Baker also said that the state plans to have 103 publicly available vaccination sites open by the end of the week and 165 open by the middle of February, including a mass site at Fenway Park.
Additional details on the state of Boston’s reopening can be found here.
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