Despite the uncertain situation the Coronavirus has created all over the United States, and the adaptations the NFL was forced to make because of the pandemic, the league is planning to return to some level of normalcy on September 10. That day, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans to officially kick off the 2020 regular season in front of a yet to be determined number of fans.
But no matter how many will be inside Arrowhead Stadium that day, they will be required to cover their faces.
The NFL’s vice president of communications, Brian McCarthy, took to social media on Thursday to confirm the league’s mandate that fans of all 32 teams wear masks when inside a stadium this fall. So if you are among those to watch the New England Patriots play at one point during the 2020 season, make sure to take a mask or other sufficient face covering with you to Gillette Stadium.
The league’s decision to introduce such a mandate is neither a surprising one nor should it be controversial. Wearing masks, after all, is one of the foundational elements of the CDC’s Covid-19 protection plan together with regularly washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, monitoring one’s health, and avoiding close contact with other people — especially the elderly and people who have underlying medical conditions.
The latter point will also be addressed in stadiums all over the NFL this year. The Patriots, for example, have already announced that they will reduce capacity in their home stadium to around 20 percent pending local and state approval.
Following the NFL’s expected cancelation of this year’s preseason, the first chance the team will get to test those requirements will come September 13 against the Miami Dolphins.