ST. GEORGE — The contingent of Las Vegas Raiders fans in Southern Utah will have a choice to make to travel or stay home this season after the team announced Tuesday that anyone who wishes to attend a game at Allegiant Stadium must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to gain entrance or else continue to wear a mask.
Proof of vaccination must be shown through a mobile app, allowing entrance to the games without a mask.
If fans choose to be vaccinated on the spot, that option will be available at Allegiant Stadium and fans can then enter the venue, although they will be required to wear a mask. Children under the age of 12, who are ineligible to receive the vaccine, will be able to attend the games in masks as well.
The policy will be in place for the Raiders opening home game of the season versus Baltimore on Monday Night Football Sept. 13.
According to a press release, the Raiders are the first team in the National Football League to announce a vaccine/no mask policy.
The announcement came after Nevada Gov. Stevel Sisolak issued an emergency directive regarding large events and Nevada’s current indoor mask mandate, specifically that venues with 4,000 seats or more – such as Allegiant Stadium or T-Mobile Arena – that require fans to be at least partially vaccinated can drop the mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said in the press release that assuring health and safety has always been the team’s “number one priority.”
“After consultation with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon aired on Las Vegas’ News 3, Davis said he understood that some fans wouldn’t be happy.
“You’re always worried about that because Raider Nation is one. We’re not a political party,” Davis said. “We have all kinds of people here, we’re diverse and we don’t want to lose any fans. And again I’ll say this, if it’s not you, it might be the person sitting next to you we’re keeping healthy.”
The Raiders had already announced in May a policy requiring full-time organization employees on the business and football staffs to be vaccinated. Mandatory vaccinations for full-time staff at Allegiant Stadium were also issued by stadium management company ASM and concessionaire Levy.
Raiders season ticket holders will receive an email with further information and instructions.
According to National Public Radio, in late July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on masks, stating: “If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”
The agency currently lists the home of Allegiant Stadium, Clark County, Nev., as a place where the level of community transmission is high.
Also according to NPR, the NFL says it is not considering a league-wide policy on vaccination, allowing teams to coordinate with local officials and health experts as well as follow federal guidelines.
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