If fans are allowed in stadiums this season, the NFL will require them to wear face coverings, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday.
For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings pic.twitter.com/D139KGKQ4r— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 22, 2020
The mandate will apply wherever fans are permitted in attendance, and will apparently supplant lack of local requirements. Fans that do not follow the mask requirement will be turned away and denied entry.
While many clubs have voiced their intention to have limited fans at games this year or implement social distancing guidelines, the Giants and Jets announced this week they will have not have fans in MetLife Stadium at all this season, following the New Jersey governor’s executive order.
The NFL’s mask requirement comes amid ongoing negotiations between the league and NFLPA as they determine proper safety protocols for the upcoming season. Both sides agreed to testing procedures for training camp on Monday.
With testing protocols and the mask mandate hammered out, it appears the league and union have already addressed the toughest negotiation points and should have no major impediments to starting the 2020 season on time.
The league still seems confident that fans will be allowed to attend at least some games this year, but with the continuing rising cases around the country, it appears increasingly likely stadiums will be empty next month.