The first phase of Boston’s new policy requires customers and employees at certain indoor sites to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination shots on Saturday.
To enter (or work in) these places, people over the age of 12 will need to prove that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And by February 15, they’ll have to show they’re fully vaccinated.
People can show they have been vaccinated using their vaccination card, a photo of their card, or any vaccine checker app.
Children aged 5 to 11 will be subject to the same rules from March.
But what exactly does “certain indoor sites” mean?
Locations generally fall into three groups: indoor restaurants, fitness centers, and entertainment and event venues.
“It’s not just about walking down the street or in your house,” Mayor Michelle Wu said on the Notorious VOG radio show Friday morning. “It’s about protecting people when you enter interior spaces. “
And while there are exemptions for “people entering for a quick and limited purpose” – such as using the restroom, placing or collecting an order, or making a delivery or repair – everyone else must show proof of vaccination to. enter.
Here’s a breakdown:
The policy covers “interior parts of catering establishments offering food and drink”. That means:
- all indoor dining rooms in catering establishments
However, Boston policy does not cover outdoor seating, so places like patios and beer gardens are not required to request proof of vaccination. (It should be noted that a similar vaccination requirement taking effect on Saturday at Brookline Is it that cover the seats outside.)
The requirement also does not apply to establishments offering charitable food services, such as soup kitchens or pantries, or dining halls at K-12 schools or colleges.
Customers also won’t need to show proof of vaccination to enter fast food restaurants that offer both indoor dining and take-out, unless they plan to dine there. .
“Customers who enter a covered facility for a quick and limited purpose, such as picking up take out food, are not required to show their immunization status,” the city’s website says. “Quick-service restaurants may request proof of vaccination at the point of service, after a customer has indicated that they are considering dining there rather than at the front door.”
Indoor gymnasiums and fitness centers
Any indoor environment offering indoor fitness activities or programs is also covered by the requirement, from gymnasiums to swimming pools:
- commercial gyms and fitness centers
- yoga, pilates, barre and dance studios
- boxing and kickboxing halls
- fitness boot camps
- indoor pools
- other facilities used to organize group fitness classes
The policy excludes outdoor fitness programs, as well as gyms in daycares, schools, senior centers, community centers, and colleges and universities that already require students and staff to be immunized.
Entertainment and event venues
The requirement also generally applies to spaces used for recreational activities or events. Including:
- movie theater
- concert or music halls
- venues for commercial events and parties
- museums and galleries
- professional sports arenas and indoor stadiums
- convention centers and exhibition halls
- performing arts theaters
- bowling lanes
- other leisure centers
The policy includes private events held in public places, such as hotels or exhibition halls. While these sites may delegate the task of verifying the immunization status of attendees to event planners or hosts, compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the site.
The hotels themselves are a bit of a gray area.
While guests are not required to show proof of vaccination to reserve a room or enter a hotel, city policy applies to hotel restaurants and bars, hotel gyms, and banquet halls. .
“Facilities may display signs at the entrance to these covered parts of the multi-purpose facility – for example, at the entrance to a hotel gym, rather than at the hotel entrance. itself, “the city’s website says. “Proof of vaccination can be checked at the entrance to the establishment, or at the entrance to the covered area, at the discretion of the establishment. “
Ethan Steinberg also contributed to this story.
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com