Rays, Marlins Update Mask Policies While Increasing Stadium Capacities
Marlins fans won't be required to wear masks, though non-vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear one. Only vaccinated fans at Rays games can leave faces uncovered,
Fans won’t be required to wear masks the next time they watch the Miami Marlins or the Tampa Bay Rays play at their home statiums.
The teams updated their coronavirus mask policies on Wednesday following recent changes to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, which now say fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. .
The Marlins new policy states that no fans will be required to wear masks, though non-vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear one.
Vaccinated fans attending Rays games can leave their faces uncovered, but the team’s announcement says unvaccinated fans must wear masks at the ballpark. It wasn’t clear how park staff would determine who was vaccinated or how the rule would be enforced.
The Rays' optional mask policy will begin with the May 25 series against the Kansas City Royals.
Fans age 2 and older who are not vaccinated will still be required to wear a mask at all times while in Tropicana Field.
The Rays also announced Tropicana Field capacity will increase to 20,000 fans starting in June.
Currently, 9,000 fans are allowed into the Trop, with seating in socially distanced pods and the 300 upper-deck level — which had closed in 2019 — open to allow for more spacing.
Fans will have two seating options — full-capacity sections with no social distancing, and sections 203-224, which will allow seating in socially distanced pods of one to six people, with a minimum of 6 feet in between each pod.
The team said the upper-deck 300 level will once again be closed starting in June, to bring fans closer to the field.
Rays tickets are on sale for home games until May 30.
The Marlins, in an email sent to fans Wednesday, said that beginning with Friday’s home game against the New York Mets, fans “will not be required to wear masks or facial coverings while attending events at loanDepot park; however, non-vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to adhere to the face covering recommendations of the CDC.”
Marlins' event staff will continue to wear face coverings “until further notice.”
The Marlins also plan to remove pod seating and allow 100 percent capacity at the 36,742-seat stadium beginning July 5. The stadium is currently limited to about a 27 percent capacity.
Ticket information for Miami games after June will be released at a later date.
Information from the Associated Press and coverage partner the Miami Herald was used in this report.
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