Boston Provides Vaccine Exemption for Student Groups

Feb 8, 2022

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is advising tour planners and school groups of the pre-K-12 student EXEMPTION from the City of Boston’s new proof of vaccination requirement. For certain indoor spaces, including many of Boston’s most iconic attractions, student groups are EXEMPT from the mandate. It is critical that these groups know about the EXEMPTION and that they reach out to the GBCVB and Boston partners with any questions.

On January 25 the GBCVB hosted a webinar to spread the word of the student exemption. The session was attended by scores of attractions, and many notable organizations have now officially embraced the student exemption, including the U.S.S. Constitution, Freedom Trail Foundation walking tours, Fenway Park, Boston Duck Tours, Boston Harbor City Cruises, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the Museum of Science, Old North Church, Improv Asylum, and the New England Aquarium.

Additionally, some of Boston’s most popular restaurants for student groups, such as Joe’s American Bar & Grill and Fire + Ice, now honor the exemption. Faneuil Hall Marketplace’s popular food voucher will be available for purchase by mid-February. Tickets will be 100% digital and available at Student groups will be able to dine under the historic Rotunda of Quincy Market regardless of vaccination status.

After the policy was announced, Boston attraction partners came together to lobby for a student group exemption. Executives at Boston’s biggest museums and attractions advocated that equity in student education should supersede the vaccine requirement and these partners quickly found support in the mayor’s office.

“Mayor Wu’s team immediately understood the challenges we were facing in providing equal educational and travel access to ALL students, regardless of their vaccine status, and added the exemption for student groups,” said Cindy Brown, CEO of Boston Duck Tours and Vice Chair of the GBCVB.

“I expect many of you will hear from Boston suppliers with clarifications and revisions to their policies in the coming weeks as news of the exemption spreads,” said Stacy Thornton, Senior Manager of Tourism Sales at the GBCVB.

“Inevitably, since private businesses can adapt a stricter policy than the city, there will be some venues that will not follow the exemption. In which case, we would be happy to propose alternatives,” Thornton added.

To recap: Any school group pre-K through12, whether organized by the school or a third party engaged by the school, is exempt from the city’s proof of vaccination policy. This includes:

• Tour guides and chaperones
• In-state and out-of-state school groups
• Restaurants
• Homeschool families (advanced reservations required)
• Hotel and meeting venues hosting band clinics, award ceremonies, proms, and other school events

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