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Enjoying a physically distant summer in Boston

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Published by:

Digital Team

We have new and updated information on Boston.gov that we think might be helpful to you this summer.

COVID-19 has put tremendous stress on all of our lives, but the good news is that the state and City are slowly reopening. As we start the summer off, we here at the Digital Team wanted to share some of the great programs still happening across Boston. We also have tips for dealing with the summer amid COVID-19.


What’s closed, and what’s open

Following state guidance

We’re currently in Step 2 of Phase 2 of the Reopening Massachusetts plan. As of Monday, June 22, these business operations are allowed to resume, with restrictions:

  • restaurants offering indoor table service
  • businesses offering close-contact personal services (including nail salons, massage therapists, and personal training)
  • retail dressing rooms, and
  • offices can open at 50 percent capacity.

Visit the state’s website for the latest guidelines on reopening.

Boston-specific guidance

We’re keeping our own reopening site up-to-date with the latest information specific to the City of Boston, including business guidance for indoor dining, houses of worship, and outdoor fitness. One recent update for Boston is that playgrounds and tot sprays are once again open in the City. Please just remember to:

  • wear a face covering 
  • stay 6 feet away from others, and
  • sanitize hands before and after play.

Visit the Parks services website for the latest information.


Summer jobs still available

There are still opportunities for youth employment this summer! On June 8, the Mayor announced a $4.1 million increase in funding for the Youth Summer Jobs Program. This means that now, 8,000 engagement opportunities will be available for youth this summer. This is a great opportunity for youth to build leadership and professional skills! Check out our SuccessLink website for more information.

Youth jobs, ages 15-18

We provide entry-level employment experiences to more than 3,500 youth during the year. 

Young adult jobs, ages 19-24

The program hires nearly 200 young adults, ages 19-24, every year!


Ongoing summer programs

Break a sweat from home

Want to stay active this summer? Boston Parks and the Public Health Commission are holding free virtual classes through its Summer Fitness series, starting on June 1 and ending on September 26. Everyone is welcome at these classes, no matter your fitness level. We have a variety of options available, from Afrobeat bootcamp to chair yoga. Check out our full calendar of classes.

Keep your teens entertained

COVID-19 has impacted Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) programming, and unfortunately all centers remain closed. But, BCYF has been able to launch a handful of summer programs, including Superteens and the Snap Shot photography program. Check out the BCYF summer programs page for more details.

Catch up on summer reading

Boston Public Library locations are closed, but you can still order and pick up books, DVDs, and CDs at select branches through the “BPL to Go” program. The pilot started at the Central Library, the Codman Square Branch, the East Boston Branch, the Jamaica Plain Branch, and the Mattapan Branch. As of July 6, you’ll be able to place orders for pickups at the Brighton, Charlestown, Lower Mills, South Boston, and West Roxbury branches.

If you are looking for inspiration, check out the library's Summer Reading 2020 site. They have reading lists as well as information on virtual events this summer.


Summer safety tips amid COVID-19

With hot summer weather upon us amid COVID-19 concerns, staying safe this summer is more of a challenge than ever before. With this information, we want to help you feel safer going about your daily life this summer. 

Dealing with the heat

Extreme heat can be dangerous to health by itself, but it can also make pre-existing health issues worse. To stay safer, we recommend that you follow certain safety precautions in the sun, including:

  • staying hydrated
  • resting often in shaded areas
  • staying in cool indoors locations whenever possible, and
  • preparing your home for the heat. 

You can also sign up for Alert Boston to be notified in the event of an emergency. If the City of Boston declares an extreme heat event, you will be contacted via text, call, or email. 

If you would like more information on staying safe in the heat, please check out our article on heat safety.

Please wear a face covering

We can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a face covering when you head outside. Along with practicing good hygiene and staying at least six feet away from others, face coverings are critical to helping us slow the spread. Not only are you keeping yourself safe, you’re also decreasing the risk of spreading the virus to others. Face coverings are so important that the state has made wearing one a requirement when physical distancing isn’t possible. Exceptions include children under 2 and those with medical conditions.

Don’t have a face covering? Our COVID-19 face coverings page has do-it-yourself videos (including one from Mayor Walsh) and instructions to help you make your own. 



Before you go...

We’re gathering data on how folks get information and updates about Boston. If you have a few minutes, please take our survey on alerts and notifications. We’ll use your answers to help inform our decisions as we work to streamline and consolidate updates coming from the City of Boston.

Remember, for the latest public health updates, check our news site, as well as our COVD-19 page. Although COVID-19 has complicated our lives, the City of Boston is still here for you and will continue to provide guidance and information as it becomes available.

Have a safe and healthy summer!


This post was written by Claire Ogden, a fellow working with the Digital Team at the City of Boston this summer. She's a rising senior at Brandeis University studying Media and Communication. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.