PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies on Wednesday said that fans will be required to mask up while indoors at Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park regardless of vaccination status.
The announcement falls in line with new guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Health that imposes an indoor mask mandate on businesses that do not require proof of vaccination to enter. The city is also mandating masks at unseated outdoor events with 1,000+ people.
The city's updated guidance goes into effect at midnight, meaning the Eagles' Thursday night preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be among the first large-scale events under the new rules. Fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask outdoors at The Linc, but the team urges non-vaccinated fans to mask at all times.
The organization says it's working with season ticket members and ticketholders for Thursday's game to ensure that they are "fully aware of the updated stadium policy." Fans are asked to bring their own masks to the stadium.
"We will continue to monitor developments and remain prepared to adjust stadium policies quickly and safely as needed," the Eagles said in a statement posted to Twitter.
The Phillies said fans must wear masks in areas, including the Diamond Club (except while eating or drinking), New Era Phillies Team Store, '47 Alley Store, elevators and restrooms.
Health officials believe the uptick in new infections is spawned by the more contagious delta variant, which is now the predominant strain of COVID-19 across the country. While the wave of new infections in Philadelphia has climbed, deaths and hospitalizations in the city remain low, hinting that the vaccines are working to prevent serious illness.
Acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said the health department will continue to analyze caseloads and did not rule out further mitigation measures.