NFL says fans MUST wear coronavirus face coverings to games in 2020 – The Sun
NFL fans attending games this season will be forced to wear a face covering.
The mask mandate was announced on Wednesday, as the NFL grapples with how to keep players and fans safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings," NFL PR rep Brian McCarthy tweeted.
"For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide".
Details of how the mask mandate will be enforced, such as whether face coverings will be provided at stadiums, have not yet been made public.
NFL stadiums across the county can hold anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 people at full capacity, making them high-risk sites for the spread of coronavirus.
The season kicks off in 50 days.
Health experts say wearing a face covering is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stop the spread of covid-19.
However, there has been resistance to mask mandates in parts of the US, with some saying forcing Americans to wear them is government overreach.
The mask requirement is one of many ways this NFL season will be unlike any other in the league's 101-year history.
Some teams have announced they will have limited capacity in the stands, or ban fans attending completely.
As training camp begins in a few days, daily testing and other measures are being implemented to protect players, coaches and fans from the contagious and deadly virus.
Covid-19 has killed 144,000 people in the United States.
On Tuesday the US recorded more than 1000 deaths in a single day.
Last month, top White House coronavirus doctor Anthony Fauci raised doubts that football could be played in 2020 unless NFL players are "in a bubble."
"Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," Fauci said.
"If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has pushed ahead with plans to start the season as scheduled on September 10.
The outbreak has left most North American sport schedules in tatters. However the NFL, in its off-season, has been largely unaffected other than scrapping plans to hold the annual draft in Las Vegas in April and moving it online.
The league has protocols in place for the opening of team facilities, despite some high-profile positive tests.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is one of several members of his team and the Houston Texans to test positive for COVID-19, according to the NFL Network.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN that the league expects some positive tests.
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