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Boise To Require Masks, Proof Of Vaccination Or Negative COVID Test At Most Events

Illustration depicting adults and school-children wearing masks.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced new requirements for city-permitted events and events held at city-owned facilities on Tuesday.

Starting Friday, September 17, masks will be required for indoor events and for outdoor events when distancing cannot be maintained for events with fewer than 250 people. For larger events, proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be required for entry. Mask requirements also apply.

Boise State football games would not be affected because they are not permitted by the city or at a city-owned facility.

"We don't want to do things that are performative, we want to do things that are impactful. We're starting with events, and we'll have to weigh the data on the ground, what's happening at the hospitals to determine what's next," McLean said at a virtual press conference.

Events will also be required to file a COVID-19 plan with the city, provide masks for attendees and have "COVID-19 protocol ambassadors" on-site, though McLean did not elaborate on the ambassador role.

The city has stopped short of a full mask requirement because of Boise's high vaccination rate compared to the rest of the state.

"We’re seeing both the benefits of the steps that we took and the consequences of the region’s low vaccine rates," she said.

Events typically draw attendees from many parts of southern Idaho and McLean said that's why she isn't implementing a broader mask as she did last year.