boston vaccine mandate

TD Garden Lifts Vaccine Mandate: What You Need to Know

Visitors age two and up will still be required to wear masks in the arena

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TD Garden, home to the Boston Bruins and Celtics, will no longer require proof of vaccination to enter the arena, as they have since September.

The Boston entertainment venue announced the entry change on Saturday. Here's what you need to know:

New Entry Rules

Proof of vaccination will no longer be required upon entry to TD Garden although the venue said that vaccine cards may still be required for some events if stipulated by a third party, such as an artist performing at the arena.

Visitors aged two and up will still be required to wear masks in the arena, in alignment with the City of Boston's masking rules -- at least for now. The city's indoor mask mandate could be the next thing to go. The state has eliminated the requirement. Boston officials say they are watching the numbers closely.

When

The rule change went into effect on Monday, Feb. 21. The first event held under the new rules was the Bruin's 1 p.m. matchup against the league-leading Colorado Avalanche.

TD Garden will become yet another institution to lift proof of vaccine requirements when its new rules go into place on Monday.

Why

The move brings the venue's policies in line with the city's. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu lifted the city's indoor vaccine mandate on Friday.

Wu says that Boston's COVID positivity rate, occupied ICU beds and hospitalizations have all dropped sufficiently enough to warrant the change.

Reaction

The reaction to the news was mixed over the weekend, with some celebrating the return to normalcy.

“Feels great. Fees like we are coming out of a cocoon. Hibernation ends. Let’s party,” said Matt Lambo.

Others, like Ana Poulin of Boston, still fear the ongoing threat.

“It’s still very much going on. It’s still a huge issue. Especially in a city like Boston, there’s so many college kids and people just running around everywhere I feel like it’s a little bit dangerous.”

On Monday, Bruins fans were happy -- and not just because of how well the team played against the Avalanche.

They were happy to see a new phase and a taste of normal life as they filed into the Garden -- where proof of vaccination is no longer necessary.

"I think we’ve moved to the next phase so I’m comfortable with that,” one man said.

"We're fully vaccinated, I just think it’s a great idea. But it’s everyone’s personal choice,” a woman shared.

"Going to the game, knowing everyone is vaccinated feels a little safer but we’re still going to go even if they’re not requiring it anymore,” another woman said.

Concertgoers Saturday night were mixed on the relaxed restrictions.

What About Masks

One big restriction does remain, namely the indoor mask mandate. That’s true not only at the Garden, but all over the city. Some think it’s now time for that rule to be phased out, too.

“It’s none of their business if I’m vaccinated, or not vaccinated, etcetera. You know, mask mandates. It’s just not fun,” another man said.

Some said they should drop the masks because not everyone is wearing them inside anyway. People are still allowed to take down their masks if they’re actively eating or drinking inside the Garden, and some think that exception is being abused.

"I think it should be enforced. None of this 'unless you’re eating something,'" one man said. "Somebody’s eating a hotdog for 10 minutes. What protection is that?”

Another man said realistically, only a small fraction of people inside the entertainment venue have their masks on.

"They wear them on their chin,” he said.

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