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Mayor Wu launches B Together, requiring COVID-19 vaccination at certain indoor spaces

The Mayor announced start of the vaccine initiative at Whittier Street Health Center clinic.

Today Mayor Michelle Wu launched B Together, a  requirement to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor spaces in Boston, including indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment venues. Starting today, patrons and staff of covered businesses must provide proof they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The goal of B Together is to close the gaps in vaccination rates, and to create safer indoor spaces for patrons and small business staff. 

“The best tool we have to end the ongoing COVID surge, reduce hospitalization rates, and save lives is for everyone to get vaccinated,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We are putting this measure in place to help safeguard our residents, our businesses, and our community. I thank our Main Streets organizations and community groups for sharing information and supporting our local vaccination clinics across the city.”

Mayor Wu kicked off B Together Saturday at Whittier Street Health Center’s vaccine clinic in Roxbury, which has been working to serve populations with lower vaccination rates. Established through a public health order issued by the Boston Public Health Commission, the new guidance seeks to increase vaccination rates among residents and slow the spread of COVID-19 and the new Omicron variant. The Mayor originally announced this latest effort to combat COVID-19 last month

“The B Together initiative is an integral part of our multilayered plan to keep the people of Boston safe and healthy," said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "Vaccines and boosters are our most important tools for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and preventing severe cases that result in hospitalization. It is imperative that we do everything we can to increase vaccine and booster uptake among Boston residents,”

“The coronavirus disease continues to spread in uncertain ways,” said Frederica M. Williams, President & CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “We fully support Mayor Wu’s B Together initiative and applaud her leadership. Vaccinations, boosters and compliance with the CDC COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control guidelines are the best strategies to return life to normalcy, prevent illnesses and save lives.” 

B Together applies to patrons and staff of indoor restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, and entertainment facilities (those picking up takeout orders and other quick visits are exempt). A full list of businesses that fall under the B Together policy can be found here

The City is making providing proof of vaccination as easy and accessible as possible. To enter one of the establishments included in the policy, individuals can show a CDC vaccination card, a photo of the card, the newly launched B Together app, or any other COVID-19 vaccine verification app, including the new Massachusetts digital vaccine card. The free B Together app is available through both the Apple Store and Google Play.

The City has been working with businesses on implementation practices since B Together was announced. On Tuesday, Mayor Wu visited businesses across Allston to answer questions about the policy and to discuss how the City can continue to help businesses recover financially from the pandemic.

Leading up to today’s launch, the City hosted four B Together webinars focused on answering questions from small business owners. Roughly 150 - 200 people joined each session, and more than 800 registered for the webinars overall.

“B Together serves as a necessary measure to mitigate the surge of COVID-19 infections and keep our residents and workforce safe and healthy,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “By implementing this vaccine mandate at our businesses where staff and patrons are the most prone to infection, we can ensure that our economy will recover from the pandemic as quickly and effectively as possible.”

"The B Together initiative is a key response to ensure the safety of our communities, especially those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chief of Community Engagement Brianna Millor. "To ensure the equitable implementation of the policy, the Office of Neighborhood Services employed a robust outreach strategy to notify all Boston residents and businesses and address any questions and concerns, and will continue to do so, in partnership with the Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion and City's Main Streets organizations."

Businesses included in B Together will also be required to post a notice at the entrance. As of today, the city has distributed flyers to approximately 1,000 businesses.

“TD Garden is in full support of Mayor Wu’s ‘B Together’ vaccination mandate, with the purpose to protect public health and put this pandemic behind us,” said Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden.  “We started the season with all new policies and guidelines to keep our guests and associates as safe as possible, and we are hopeful, as we continue to work together through these new requirements, that we are making continued progress in the fight against COVID-19.”   

"The Tres Gatos and Casa Verde restaurant teams are proud to implement and support Mayor Wu’s ‘B Together’ program requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for restaurants and other indoor venues,” said David Doyle, the founder of Tres Gatos and Casa Verde. “We believe this is an important and effective way to maximize vaccination in our city, to instill confidence and a sense of security among the dining public, and to protect our staff and our guests. The restaurant community, which has faced many difficult hurdles during this pandemic, and is vital to our city’s economy, greatly appreciates Mayor Wu’s ongoing support."

Throughout the pandemic, the City of Boston has closely watched COVID-19 metrics to guide policy decisions. 

As of Monday, January 10, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Boston was almost 32 percent. Boston is averaging 2,519 new positive cases per day, which is a 16 percent increase from a week ago.

More than 81 percent of Boston’s population have received at least one dose, as of January 11, while almost 70 percent are fully vaccinated. 

The newly implemented policy is being phased in as follows:



Saturday, January 15

People age 12+ must show proof of one dose of vaccine

Tuesday, February 15

People age 12+ must show proof of full vaccination

Tuesday, March 1

Children age 5-11 must show proof of one dose of vaccine

Sunday, May 1

People age 5+ must show proof of full vaccination

The City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission continue to support easily accessible walk-in vaccination clinics across the city, including at many community centers, schools, and community health centers. A full list of vaccination sites, including walk-in facilities, can be found here.

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