Anyone 12 and older going to TD Garden for any event, including Boston Bruins and Celtics games, will need to show proof they are fully vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID starting next week, the venue announced Tuesday.
Everyone at least 3 years old will need to wear a mask except when they're eating and drinking, following a city of Boston public health order.
The proof of vaccination or negative COVID test requirement goes into effect next Thursday, Sept. 30, when the Bruins have their first home preseason game, TD Garden said.
"These policies will continue to be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Some events, seating locations and experiences may require additional health and safety guidelines as required by promoters, touring artists or league protocols," a statement on the arena's website says.
For proof of vaccination, TD Garden will accept either "the original vaccination card or a digital copy of the vaccination card that can be checked against a valid ID." To be fully vaccinated, the arena noted, a patron needs to have gotten their final vaccine dose at least two weeks before hand.
People looking to get into the arena without proof of vaccination will need to have a printout or digital copy showing they tested negative for COVID with a rapid/antigen test within one day of the event or with a molecular/PCR test within three days of the event. "Self-administered at-home rapid/antigen tests will not be accepted," TD Garden says.
TD Garden had been allowing people who are fully vaccinated to go without masks, but under the new rules, everyone older than 2 who isn't in the process of eating or drinking will need to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone with a medical condition that would prevent them from wearing a face mask is asked to get in touch with TD Garden customer service at least two days before their event to make arrangements.
"Day of event exemptions will not be permitted. Fans who are unable to wear a face mask will be required to wear a face shield," the TD Garden site says.
The presidents of TD Garden, Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics released statements noting that the new rules are intended to keep people safe.
"Our primary goal is to keep our fans, guests, employees, players and performers safe," said Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden. "We have worked diligently with public health officials, experts and our industry leaders and have a shared belief that this is the best approach to keep live events going."
"Fan safety is paramount as we invite guests back to TD Garden for the 2021-22 season," said Cam Neely, president of the Boston Bruins. "While we had all hoped to see a return to normalcy, we felt it was important to start the year with additional precautions. After beginning the 2020 season in an empty building, I know that our players, coaches and staff are looking forward to kicking off this year in front of the most passionate hockey fans in the world."
"We're grateful to get back to a full season in front of our fans this year," said Rich Gotham, president of the Boston Celtics. "Vaccination verification will help provide our fans with peace of mind as they come back to enjoy the energy of a live Celtics game experience together."