BOSTON (WHDH) - Today is the last day Massachusetts residents will be able to secure proof of vaccination before the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for indoor spaces goes into effect in Brookline, Boston, and Salem this weekend.
Beginning on Saturday, 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 in these communities — including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fitness facilities, and entertainment venues.
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.
At Health Works Fitness Club in Brookline, gym members scan their cards every time they check in and their electronic profile pops up. Beginning tomorrow, their profile will note whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“You show proof of vaccine upon your first arrival starting after tomorrow. We mark that in our system and then you don’t have to show us proof after that,” said Britney Marenna, assistant manager at Health Works.
Brookline gym member Ann Sanders said she isn’t phased she will have to prove her vaccine status starting this weekend.
“You’ve got to show IDs and proof of other kinds of things throughout your life,” said Sanders.
In Boston’s 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.
Somerville officials are slated to meet Friday night to discuss the possibility of their own city-wide vaccine mandate.
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