Football fans in Edmonton will be required to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before attending games at Commonwealth Stadium, the Edmonton Elks announced on Monday.
“If a ticket holder can’t provide proof of full vaccination, they will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, collected within 48 hours of the game’s scheduled start time,” the Elks said in a news release.
Fans 12 and under — who are not currently eligible to be vaccinated — are exempt, it said.
The measures go into effect for the Oct. 15 home game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Two other home games are scheduled before then — Sept. 11 against the Calgary Stampeders and Sept. 18 against Winnipeg — but the policy will not be implemented in time for those events, a spokesperson confirmed.
The club will provide more details about its COVID-19 health and safety plans Monday at a media availability scheduled for 1 p.m. MT.
“As we continue to navigate the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, the Elks believe this policy is essential to delivering a safe environment for our fans and staff, as we continue to play an important role in our bringing our community together,” the news release said.
The announcement comes one week after similar measures were announced by the Oilers Entertainment Group for all hockey games and other events at Rogers Place,
The Rogers Place regulations — that ticket holders provide proof of being fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the event or a negative COVID-19 test done by an approved supplied within 48 hours of the event — take effect on Sept. 28.
That will be the Oilers’ first pre-season home game, against the Seattle Kraken.
The Elks said operations and front office staff must be fully vaccinated as well. Team game-day staff, as well as stadium and event staff, will be subject to the same game day requirements as fans, the team said.
Thirteen Elks players have tested positive for COVID-19 since the team returned from an away game against the B.C. Lions in Vancouver last week.
As of late last week, 83.5 per cent of the team’s players and coaches had received at least one dose of vaccine, the Elks said.
The club has been recommending fans wear a mask at the stadium and try to remain physically distant, but those measures are not mandatory. Masks are available at the door for ticket holders who want one.