Sea Grille at Rowes Wharf, Boston Harbor Hotel
In Phase II of the Reopening Massachusetts plan, restaurants in Massachusetts are permitted to offer outdoor table service by meeting mandatory safety standards and recommended best practices starting the week of June 8, 2020,
The City of Boston is increasing outdoor seating for restaurants in Boston. The Boston Licensing Board, in conjunction with the Public Improvement Commission, Transportation Department, and other agencies, have undertaken a temporary, non-precedent setting initiative to allow for expanded use of public spaces for outdoor dining.
Boston has received close to 500 requests for temporary extension onto outdoor space, and already more than 200 businesses have received full or conditional approval to expand their outdoor space to serve patrons. The Board is actively issuing approvals for temporary extensions on private and public property, and applications will continue to be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. Applications and guidance are available on boston.gov, the Licensing Board has been conducting outreach throughout Boston’s neighborhoods to encourage restaurants to apply for this program.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, “Boston is committed to a safe, phased reopening process. That includes helping our small businesses open safely and successfully, and we’ve been working wherever we can to remove barriers and provide new opportunities. The restaurant industry has been incredibly impacted by this global pandemic, and we’ve made helping the small businesses that make our neighborhoods and city so special a priority during this time.”
If restaurants have applied and received approval, they can begin outdoor service on their property, or in the public parking spaces outside their establishment, immediately. Those outdoor spaces can remain open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.
Outdoor restaurant tables must be minimum 6 feet away, and tables can’t seat more than 6 people. Workers must wear masks, and patrons must wear masks until they are seated at their tables. Indoor restaurant dining is not yet allowed under State guidelines.
As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving COVID-19-related assistance landscape, the Economic Development Office has created a Federal Assistance Guide, Financial Relief Handbook and FAQ document, all of which are continuously updated.
The Open Businesses in Boston and Support Boston Restaurants platforms have helped businesses to publicly share that they are open and direct residents into supporting local establishments. The above resources and more industry-specific guidance are accessible on boston.gov/small-business. For all coronavirus updates from the City of Boston, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus.