Boston’s indoor vaccine mandate takes effect Saturday


BOSTON (WPRI) — No vaccine, no service.

Starting Saturday, everyone 12 years and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of the vaccine in order to enter indoor dining, bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues in Boston. Proof of full vaccination will be required by Feb. 15.

Employees working in those spaces will also be required to be vaccinated.

There are some exemptions, including performing artists who are not regularly employed by a venue, professional athletes and sports teams.

Businesses that are affected will be required to place a sign at their entrance and check customers for proof of vaccination upon entry.

To enter an establishment, you can show proof of vaccination with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card, a digital image of the CDC card, an image of any official immunization record, or a City of Boson app or any other COVID vaccine verification app.

The initiative, called “B Together,” was announced last month to address the rising COVID-19 cases and also encourage getting vaccinated.

“The best way for Boston to stay healthy and support our communities, our businesses, and cultural institutions is for more people to get vaccinated. The B Together policy helps us do that,” the city’s website states.

As restaurants continue to deal with pandemic restrictions and supply chain issues, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Bob Luz fears the new rules will bring more difficult tasks: maintaining a strong staff after losing so many, and training employees they have to verify vaccination cards.

“It’s like groundhog every day if you’re in the restaurant industry,” Luz said. “It’s like I’m Bill Murray hitting the alarm clock and it just plays another round of how to challenge a restaurant.”