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Boston Marathon Participants Will Have To Provide Proof Of Vaccination Or Negative COVID Test, B.A.A. Announces

BOSTON (CBS) -- Entrants in the 125th Boston Marathon will need to either provide proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to participate in the fall race, the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday.

This year's Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place on Monday, Oct. 11.

Prior to bib number pick-up, marathon participants will be required to either produce proof of a complete vaccination series of a World Health Organization-certified vaccine or produce a negative COVID-19 test, which will be administered on site in a Boston Marathon medical tent. Vaccine verification will occur Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10 in coordination with the Boston Marathon Expo hours. Participants may bring an original paper copy, digital copy, photocopy, or photo of their vaccination proof.

The B.A.A. will work with a third-party testing provider for test administration and results tracking. Testing will begin no earlier than 72 hours prior to participant start times on Monday, October 11. Exact hours, locations, and additional details will be communicated directly to all participants.

Tested participants will not receive immediate access to enter the Boston Marathon Expo for bib number pickup and will be required to wait for confirmation of test results. The fastest path to pick up numbers for the 125th Boston Marathon is being fully vaccinated.

Upon successful vaccination verification or negative COVID-19 test, participants will receive a bracelet which must be worn at all times in order to access bib number pick-up areas and participant transportation areas on race day. The bracelet must also be displayed to receive a unicorn finisher's medal on Boylston Street.

Any participant who tests positive for COVID-19 prior to starting the race will not be allowed to participate in the event and will be refunded their entry fee. The B.A.A. will work to ensure that all cases are traced and tracked to prevent any additional spread due to exposure at Marathon related events or programs. Additionally, all participants will receive an email after race day asking to self-report if exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.

Any participant who tests positive for COVID-19 must be prepared to isolate in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' guidance and assume all associated fees, including medical expenses and fees associated with isolating and travel.

Boston Marathon volunteers and officials will follow a similar process, and will receive additional information in the coming weeks. All Boston Marathon medical volunteers will be fully vaccinated.

Athletes in the John Hancock Professional Athlete Field will follow enhanced health and safety procedures, including regular testing over race weekend.

Masks will not be required while running the 26.2-mile course, but will be enforced on participant transportation and in other areas in accordance with local guidelines. Mask policies will be reviewed on a regular basis and updated in accordance with local guidance leading up to the October 11th race.

In the coming weeks, athletes will receive more information on the rolling start procedure, bib number assignments, bus loading times in Boston, and transportation to the start. The 125th Boston Marathon mobile app—designed for athletes participating in the in-person and virtual races, as well as
spectators—will launch in early September.

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