BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston’s proof of vaccine mandate for bars, restaurants and other indoor spaces took effect Saturday, with customers required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 upon entering.
Workers and patrons age 12 and up will be required to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to gain entry into indoor spaces— including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fitness facilities, and entertainment venues — as part of the B Together initiative. A full list of the impacted locations can be found here.
“The vast majority of COVID-related hospitalizations are of unvaccinated individuals, which is impacting our entire health care system and compromising the health of our communities,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said when she announced the mandate. “Today’s steps to protect community members in certain indoor establishments and throughout our city workforce will help ensure that everyone in Boston will be safe.”
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include the CDC vaccination card, a photo of the card, any official immunization record or digital image from a pharmacy or health care provider, or on any COVID-19 vaccine verification app, such as the B Together app launched by Boston officials.
In the North End, Galleria Umberto owner Marty Bloom said his restaurant will switch to take-out only on Saturday, as he does not have enough staff to check the vaccination status of every customer. He is currently the only person taking orders, filling them, and cashing people out at the restaurant.
“Maybe hire a bunch more people at city hall and send them to all the restaurants, let them be the vax police. I can’t do it on my time and my dime,” said Bloom.
The restaurant owner said he is now worried he will lost business to restaurants in other communities that do not have a vaccine mandate in place.
“We went through all this stuff last year, which was bad enough when they cut us down to 25 percent occupancy and 9:30 closing. This is like another gut punch,” Bloom said.
Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration on Monday announced a new tool that provides Massachusetts residents a way to digitally access their COVID-19 vaccine card and vaccination history.
Starting on January 24th, any city of Boston staff that do not provide proof of vaccination will begin to be placed on unpaid administrative leave, pending further action. So far, more than 17,000 employees have already complied with the mandate.
Several other Bay State communities, including Brookline and Salem, also have indoor vaccine mandates taking effect this weekend.
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