coronavirus in Boston

Playgrounds, Splash Pads Reopen in Boston Monday

Mayor Marty Walsh urges people to continue social distancing in public spaces

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Playgrounds and splash pads are reopening in Boston Monday as the city eases restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Temporary closure signs are being replaced with reminders to maintain social distance and proper hygiene in accordance with specific guidelines from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The guidance calls for gatherings under 10 people, maintaining a six foot distance from others and facial coverings for everyone 2 years and older.

"It's nice. We're wondering if they're safe to use I guess. But there's nobody here so that's good," said one man outside of a Boston splash parke Monday morning.

Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker's reopening plan requires that these rules be posted at entryways and on social media or websites for parks, splash pads and open fitness areas.

In a tweet, Walsh on Sunday said signs would be visible at those public spaces to remind people to stay vigilant. He urged people to continue practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Parents were excited for the reopening of the parks on Monday but some aren't sure their kids will remember to keep their masks on.

"Olivia, our older one, has been pretty good with it but Esme, she gets pretty claustrophobic with it on and wants to put it down like a beard and its like, 'you know that's not how you're supposed to wear it. That's not safe,'" one mother explained.

The move comes amid increased activity in the city following months of strict social distancing guidelines.

This weekend saw bustling activity in the North End, where restaurants were allowed to reopen.

Restaurants across the state have been allowed to reopen under Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to restart the economy, but restaurants in the North End had to wait given the unique characteristics of the historic neighborhood.

Customers were excited Friday evening to enjoy a nice meal European-style.

"Like a little piazza or something," said customer Ben Laub. "You're allowed to get your drinks, eat a little croissant and cheese outside, it's a ton of fun."

Walsh has said health metrics are trending in a positive direction in Boston, but has continually stressed the need to maintain social distancing measures.

Massachusetts on Sunday reported 208 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including 48 fatalities. It brings the state's death toll to 7,624 and the total number of people who've tested positive for the virus to 105,603, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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