State kicks in Phase 3 reopenings; Boston’s date is next Monday

Massachusetts moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan on Monday, but businesses and patrons in Boston will have to wait until next Monday to kick things off.

Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh discussed the developments during a press event at Fenway Park last Thursday, in which the Red Sox announced their plans to begin a truncated, 60-game season later this month without fans in the seats.

Earlier in the day, Baker announced that statewide re-openings in “Part 1” of “Phase 3” will authorize gyms, museums, and movie theaters to again open their doors. Along with that, professional sports teams are now authorized to play games without spectators across the commonwealth.

Baker also said that starting July 6, limits on indoor gatherings would rise to 25 and those outdoors to 100.

The Walsh administration did not give any rationale for the delay. When asked about his comfort level with regard to the reopenings on July 13, the mayor said that Boston is in a “strong position,” but will continue to monitor Covid-19 trends in partnership with state leadership and adjust accordingly. 

“I think that all of the information and data we’re looking at right now is moving in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve worked very closely with the governor … but I think that we’ve all acknowledged that if we see something going higher, we’ll take the appropriate action.”

He added: “We see here that people wearing masks is having a positive impact on keeping the rates down; Phase 3 really depends on all of us being really responsible.”

Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Red Sox, said the team looks forward to giving Bostonians a pleasant distraction at a time when it is most needed. The team plans an opening day later in July. A firm date has not yet been set.

Baker was asked when he thought fans might be allowed to watch their favorite sports teams in person. 

“I hesitate to speculate on things too far down the road,” he said. “We continue to learn about coronavirus, and because it’s a new virus… I try to say we make the best decisions we can based on the experts we talk to and the data we have at the time.”