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28 Dec

December 2021: Boston Multi-Phase Vaccine Mandate for Certain Establishments Goes into Effect in January 2022

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Update Applicable to:
All employers of indoor dining, entertainment, recreation, and fitness establishments in Boston, Massachusetts.

What happened?
On December 20, 2021, Mayor Michelle Wu announced a new multi-phase order requiring that proof of vaccination to enter certain establishments.

What are the details?
Effective January 15, 2022, individuals over the age of 12 will be required to present proof of covid-19 vaccination before entering any businesses and entities that operate certain “covered premises,” including the following:

  • Indoor Food Services, including restaurants and bars, and all indoor dining areas of food service establishments;
  • Indoor Entertainment, Recreational, and Event Venues, including theaters, music venues, commercial event and party venues, museums and galleries, professional sports arenas, and convention centers, among others; and
  • Indoor Gyms and Fitness Settings, including commercial gyms and other facilities used for conducting group fitness classes.

Certain individuals are exempted from the Mayor’s Order and may enter covered premises without showing proof of vaccination, provided that such individuals wear a face mask at all times.  These include individuals entering for a quick and limited purpose, such as using the restroom, making a delivery, performing repairs, or placing or picking up an order or service. The Order also does not apply to pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 public and non-public schools and programs, childcare programs, senior centers, or community centers. 

Each covered business must post a sign at their entrance indicating that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated.  An approved sign will be available at or available for pick up at city locations.

Below is a schedule of the phases provided by the Boston Public Health Commission.

Phase 1:
January 15, 2022
People ages 12 and over must show proof of one dose of the vaccine.
Phase 2:
February 15, 2022
People ages 12 and over must show proof of full vaccination.
Phase 3: March 1, 2022Children ages 5-11 must show proof of one dose of the vaccine.
Phase 4: May 1, 2022People ages five and over must show proof of full vaccination.

For more information, please see the links below:

BPHC Indoor Vaccination Order

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and prepare to make changes to their vaccination policies to comply with the mandate once it goes into effect on January 15, 2022.