Soon You’ll Need Proof of Vaccination to Visit Boston Restaurants

The new mandate goes into effect early next year.

Bostonians will soon be required to show proof of vaccination before visiting local bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues.

Starting January 15, at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be required to dine or drink indoors, and the policy will expand to require that guests are fully vaccinated on February 15, the city announced Monday. The new mandate does not apply to other local communities like Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville—but those areas are expected to roll out their own requirements.

"For too many months and years, our businesses have been forced to act on their own," Mayor Michelle Wu said at a press conference on Monday. "Many have already implemented proof of vaccination independently. Now we are setting clear standards that provide straightforward guidance for businesses and ease that burden."

In addition to restaurants and bars, gyms, theaters, sports arenas, and other entertainment facilities are also required to comply with the mandate. Employees of these establishments will also be required to be vaccinated.

When the requirement goes into effect, children under 12 will be exempt from the mandate, but starting March 1, children ages 5 to 11 will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

The move to require proof of vaccination pushes Boston in line with cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia that implemented the requirement earlier this year.

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Liz Provencher is an associate editor at Thrillist.