BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh urged Boston residents not to allow St. Patrick's Day to become a COVID "super spreader event."
The St. Patrick's Day parade is canceled for a second straight year in Boston. In addition, the city won't allow live performances to resume at restaurants until after the holiday.
During his Monday press conference, Walsh asked residents not to host any large gatherings of any kind.
The plea comes as Boston's COVID metrics continue to improve. Last week, the city's positivity rate dropped to its lowest level since October.
"We are so close to the finish line here, that what we don't need now is a step backwards," Walsh said. "Events like St. Patrick's Day and weekends like St. Patrick's Day can throw us back. They can become super spreader events, so we can be in a situation where we're shutting everything down again."
As of Monday, Massachusetts restaurants can operate with no capacity limit as long as tables are separated by six feet. Ninety-minute time restrictions are also still in place at restaurants, and no alcohol can be sold unless food service is offered.
"If you remember back to this time last year, it was at the beginning of the pandemic. And we had lines on a Friday night of St. Patrick's Day weekend. We had lines up and down different streets in South Boston, and the restaurants took it upon themselves to shut down," Walsh said. "Hopefully a year from now St. Patrick's Day there will be no real rules or regulations in place and we'll be able to have the fun and the celebration that we all want to have."
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