Resources & Guidance


Re-opening, Each Phase

What each and every business or non-profit must do to re-open when eligible:

Re-Opening Phase I

• Places of worship with guidelines and outdoor services are encouraged

• Essential businesses, manufacturing and construction

• Hospitals and community health centers can start with high priority preventative care and treatment for high-risk patients

• Public transit riders on the MBTA will be required to wear masks


• Personal services – hair salons, barbershopspet grooming (curbside drop off/pick up) – all by appointment only

• Car washes – exterior washing only

• Laboratories and life sciences facilities

• Offices (not in Boston) but must be less than 25% maximum occupancy; work from home strongly encouraged

• Retail for remote services and curbside pick up

• Beaches, parks, drive-in theaters, athletic fields and courts, outdoor adventure activities, most fishing, hunting and boating, along with outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves and public installations – all with guidelines

• Limited Day Care: Childcare operating at reduced capacity and on an emergency basis for children of workers with no safe alternative to group care

“During Phase One, the emergency childcare system we already have in place will be utilized to meet the needs of people with no alternative for care. We’re also encouraging families to continue to find any alternatives to group care, to help stem the spread of the virus.” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said at Monday’s news conference.

Re-Opening Phase II: June 8

• Public libraries

• Childcare

• Day camps, including sports and arts camps

• LIMITED: post-secondary/higher education/vo-tech/trade or occupational schools

• Outdoor recreational activities:  Pools, spray decks, playgrounds, mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, climbing walls, ropes courses

• Golf facilities including outdoor driving ranges

• Funeral homes:  increased capacity to permit 40% occupancy for one service at a time within the facility

• Driving schools and flight schools

• Non-athletic classes in arts/education/life skills for youths under 18 years of age, only in groups of fewer than 10 persons

• Personal services provided at a fixed place of business or at a client location

  1. Services involving no close contact (photography, window washers, individual tutoring, home cleaning, etc.)
  2. Services that do involve close contact (massage, nail salons, personal training for individuals or for no more than 2 persons from the same household, etc.)

• Professional sports practice and training programs – no inter-team games and no public admission.

• LIMITED: organized youth and adult amateur sports activities and programs.  No contact and no games or scrimmages, and no indoor facilities limited to youth programs.

• Hotels, motels, inns, and other short-term lodgings, if general requirements and specific preparations are satisfied.  NO events, functions, or meetings.

• Warehouses and distribution centers

• LIMITED: Retail stores, including stores in enclosed shopping malls

• LIMITED:  Restaurants providing seated food service prepared on-site and under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities.  OUTDOOR dining and take-out/delivery only at this point.

1.  Outdoor Dining Only, Entirely on Private Property.  

Create a CityGrows account if you do not already have one.  Complete the online application here. The application will simply require notification to ISD and Law Department that you have set up outdoor dining on private property, and requesting a site visit.  ISD will visit, make sure everything is to its satisfaction, and issue a Temporary Occupancy Permit good through Nov. 1, 2020.  On Monday, assuming no application is available, businesses should just email Mike McAteer at and Cheryl Watson Fisher at and request a review of the site.  Mike or some other ISD Inspector will hopefully be able to issue the Temporary Occupancy Permit within a day or so (perhaps even in the case of early emails before the end of the day on Monday.)  Fees for these outdoor licensing efforts are waived.


2.  Outdoor Dining Only, on a City Sidewalk Only

Create a CityGrows account if you do not already have one.  Complete the online application here.   But, this will require making City an additional insured on the business’ insurance policy and signing a simple indemnification.  It will all be part of a relatively simple application.  If the application is not on line by Monday, an email to ISD and Law Department that you wish to set up outdoor dining on a sidewalk only, and requesting a site visit, will suffice to initiate the process.  ISD will visit, along with a consultant from the City who starts work full-time on Monday, to work with the restaurant to identify the appropriate sidewalk space.  Once the setup is approved, Mike or ISD will issue a Temporary Occupancy Permit good through Nov. 1, 2020.  In this case, we should be able to issue the Temporary Occupancy Permit within a few days (or perhaps even quicker depending on the circumstances).  Fees for these outdoor licensing efforts are waived.


3.  Outdoor Dining Only, in or on Other Public Spaces (i.e. existing streets or parking spaces).

Create a CityGrows account if you do not already have one.  Complete the online application here.   However, in order to occupy these public spaces beyond a sidewalk, both Traffic Commission approval of this general concept and City Council approval will be required. The Traffic Commission is meeting on Tues. June 9 to consider this, and then the Council will have the matter before it on Mon. June 15.  Again, we expect, assuming these approvals, that this process will operate like #2 above.  Fill out an on-line application, ISD and consultant from City work with you on the nearby space, and then a Temporary Occupancy Permit is issued good through Nov. 1, 2020.  Anyone interested in use of streets or parking spaces can get a head start by filling out the application next week, although the City will not be able to issue approvals until Tues. June 16 at the earliest.  Fees for these outdoor licensing efforts are waived.


4.  Serving Liquor at the Private Property Outdoor Spaces.  

This will require Licensing Commission approval. But, that process is expected to be streamlined.  We will be asking the Licensing Commission, at its Thurs. June 18 meeting, to vote that, during this State of Emergency, it should delegate authority to allow liquor on ISD approved outdoor spaces to the Licensing Administrator, similar for what it does for Yard Sales, etc. . .     Solicitor will have a streamlined application on line limited to the requirements set forth in the ABCC required guidelines for outdoor alcohol use.  Those interested in liquor can fill out application beforehand, but no liquor licenses for outdoor dining will be available until Fri. June 19 at the earliest.  Fees for these outdoor licensing efforts are waived.


5.  Serving Liquor at the Outdoor Dining on Public Property.

This requires an Ordinance change.  The City will be requesting this change at the City Council meeting on June 15.  If Council approves the request to eliminate the prohibition on alcohol consumption on public property for a properly licensed restaurant, then this license will also issue from the Licensing Commission or its designee.  The application process will be similar to #4 above.  But, again, the earliest such a License could issue is Fri. June 19 following the Licensing Commission’s June 18 meeting.  Fees for these outdoor licensing efforts are waived.

Re-Opening Phase III

• Large venues and nightclubs, not including professional sports

Re-Opening Phase IV

• Gyms, bars, casinos and museums

• Youth sports with games and tournaments (limited crowd sizes)

• On a phased basis, residential camps with restrictions

• MBTA’s buses and Red, Orange and Green lines and ferries go to full service where staffing allows. Commuter rail moves to modified full schedule

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again

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