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Temporary guidance for construction in the City of Boston

To stem the current public health crisis and support the health of workers in the City, the City has paused non-essential construction and is enacting new requirements for permitting.


On Monday, May 18, the state released its reopening Massachusetts plan, with information on how and when different industries can reopen. While construction and manufacturing can resume today, the City of Boston is reopening construction in a phased manner. We will allow work on schools, hospitals, some residential work, and open-air construction until May 25. After May 25, the City will permit any construction type that is allowed by the state, with the required COVID-19 Safety Affidavits and COVID-19 Safety Plans for permitted construction work in place.

On Tuesday, May 5, the City activated the submission process for required COVID-19 Safety Affidavits and COVID-19 Safety Plans for permitted construction work. The City also announced the timeline to incrementally expand the categories of allowed construction to further align with the broader categories of construction defined as essential by the State. Read the announcement, or watch our COVID-19 construction safety updates video.

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Allowed construction work

The City will be incrementally expanding the construction work permitted in Boston to align with the state's list of allowed construction work.  The key dates are outlined below.

Prior to May 18

The City will only allow work that is essential to the safety and well-being of our residents at this time — particularly work related to this public health crisis.

That essential work includes:

  • emergency utility, road or building work, such as gas leaks, water leaks and sinkholes
  • new utility connections to occupied buildings
  • mandated building or utility work
  • work at public health facilities, healthcare facilities, shelters, including temporary shelters and other facilities that support vulnerable populations
  • emergency work necessary to render occupied residential buildings safe and healthy
  • work immediately necessary related to life safety systems
  • work which ensures the reliability of the transportation network
  • small residential construction projects in dwellings of 3 units or less (for example, kitchen or bathroom remodeling), and
  • other work necessary to render occupied residential buildings fully habitable.
Between May 18 and May 25

The City will allow essential construction, as defined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that meet the following criteria:

  1. projects are permitted, are in compliance with and have filed a COVID-19 Safety Plan and signed affidavit
  2. project sites are sufficiently prepared to adhere to all criteria of their safety plan, and
  3. the work is for hospitals, public schools, residential buildings (1-3 units), road and utility work, or other outdoor or open-air work, such as steel erection, roofing, and construction foundations.
Starting May 26

The City will permit any construction type that is allowed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Safety policies

For the health and safety of workers, their families, and our communities, all permitted construction will be required to adhere to COVID-19 best practices during this public health emergency.

To implement this policy, permitted construction work will be required to sign a COVID-19 Safety Affidavit and provide the City with a COVID-19 Safety Plan. 

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