As Spring Training draws nearer, new reports have started to leak out giving us a picture of what the 2021 MLB will look like. Now, a report from the Los Angeles Times says MLB will not require fans to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated, or even that they’ve recently tested negative for COVID-19 before attending a game.
The LA Times got the info from a memo they obtained that was sent to all 30 teams. While the memo said it wouldn’t mandate vaccines or negative tests for fans, it did say fans will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking, according to the Times. The memo noted that local city authorities, or teams themselves, could opt to implement further safety measures, like temperature checks outside of stadiums.
The Times also provided a quote from the league, explaining why testing would not be mandated: “Mass testing of this kind is not practical with the existing rapid testing options, and testing is of limited utility when done days in advance of an advance of an event.”
As a measure to protect fans who decide to attend games, the memo said the league anticipated local authorities to sell tickets in “pods,” providing at least six feet between each pod. If local authorities did not require ballparks to create pods, then the league would have to approve any seating arrangement that reduces the distance between groups to less than six feet, according to the Times.
On Monday, Bob Nightengale reported that MLB is planning to start the season on-time, and to play a full 162-game season. Opening day is set for April 1.