Professional Athletes Exempt From Boston’s Coronavirus Vaccine Passport Mandate

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If you’re a professional athlete competing in Boston, then you won’t need to show proof of vaccination to enter your respective training facilities and playing venues to compete.

It’s a different set of rules from that given to the spectators of those same events.

Boston has had a coronavirus vaccine passport mandate in place since Saturday, January 15. Under the rule, people ages 12 and up must show proof that they have at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fitness facilities, and entertainment venues in the city. That’s in addition to the city’s indoor mask mandate.

On Tuesday, February 15, the vaccine passport is scheduled to become more strict, requiring at least two doses of the vaccine to enter those kinds of facilities.

So while a sports fan needs to show proof of vaccination to enter various sports venues in the city, the rule doesn’t apply to the athletes on the court and on the ice.

Here is what Boston mayor Michelle Wu’s press office told NewBostonPost by email on Tuesday, January 18 when asked about the policy:

“B Together does not apply to public and non-public schools (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), so high school athletes are exempt. Additionally, in developing this policy Boston reviewed the policies that other jurisdictions have adopted, and determined that a specific limited exemption for athletes and performers was appropriate at this time.”

The mayor’s office did not specify why exemptions for those people were appropriate while they enforced the rule against the rest of the population.

Boston currently has two major professional sports teams in season:  the Boston Bruins (National Hockey League), and the Boston Celtics (National Basketball Association). Neither league has a coronavirus vaccination mandate in place for its players.

While the mayor’s office said the policy mirrors that of other cities with coronavirus vaccine passports in place, it is not true of New York City.

There, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has not been able to play in any home games this season because he refuses to get vaccinated against coronavirus. As a result, Irving is a part-time player for the team; he only plays in road games for the Nets. A seven-time NBA all-star, Irving was a member of the Celtics from 2017 to 2019.

So while someone like Irving cannot play games in New York City, he could play in a road game against the Celtics.


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