People upset after vaccination requirements lifted for Leafs and Raptors games
After a few months of an empty venue, the Raptors and Maple Leafs can finally play to a crowd in Toronto now that capacity limits have increased.
Although fans are excited to be able to watch a game in person again, people are upset after MLSE lifted vaccination requirements for Leafs and Raptors games late this afternoon.
It was announced earlier this week that capacity limits would be increased starting Feb. 17 as part of the fast-tracked re-opening plan.
In a statement released earlier this week, MLSE mentioned that decisions regarding vaccine mandate protocols would be made with public health officials.
The company has made its decision and has decided to stop checking vaccinations for fans starting Mar.1 when capacity limit restrictions have been lifted.
"...MLSE announced today that it will follow provincial guidance and discontinue the proof of vaccination for fans and personnel in close proximity to playing surfaces," MLSE said in a statement.
MLSE Media Statement on Vaccination Requirement pic.twitter.com/G6KTwn3LMt— MLSE PR (@MLSEPR) February 18, 2022
This announcement has received some backlash from fans.
February 18, 2022
Some think that it's too soon, from having no one in the crowd to a full arena.
I will not be attending if there is no vaccine mandate. Your management is sticking their heads in the sands alongside Dofo, and people are going to get sick.— MK Elliot 🏳️🌈📚🏒💖✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@mkelliotmk) February 18, 2022
Others are disappointed that the company chose to stop checking for proof of vaccination.
Companies are being given the option to keep this in place I am saddened that MLSE chose this path— SAM (she/her) (@SFTYGAL) February 18, 2022
One person even mentioned how this could be a bad decision on their end.
This may turn out to be a bad business decision.— richard trotter (@rich1trotter) February 18, 2022
Someone even wrote that they won't be attending events at MLSE venues anymore.
Oh well. So much for attending anything in MLSE venues.— Laurie Stephens (@lauriestephens) February 18, 2022
Although proof of vaccination is not needed for those attending, all employees must be fully vaccinated in order to work at these venues.
"The vaccine mandate will remain in place, however, for the company's full and part-time employees until further notice."
Employees = require safety measures.— Brandon (@bds28) February 18, 2022
Fans = don’t.#LeafsForever #WeTheNorth @TorontoFC @TorontoMarlies
This decision has some fans questioning who this is really benefiting.
So only players’ health and safety matters?— Kerri (@Kerri1515) February 18, 2022
While others condemn the company for this decision.
Weird how your employees still need the safety measures but your fans don’t.— Brandon (@bds28) February 18, 2022
Weird how you don’t want to continue to help nudge society to get vaxxed.
Shame on you. @MLSEPR had always been a leader in the fight against Covid, and now you’re capitulating to bullies and politics.
Although proof of vaccination won't be checked, masks are still required to enter the venue.
"As part of each venue's existing health and safety measures, MLSE's 'Mask up or out' mask mandate will remain strictly enforced and the company may impose the proof of vaccine mandate in the future should public health circumstances and direction require it," the company states.
This new requirement won't be affecting the next couple of home games for the Leafs on Feb. 19 and Feb. 24, but these changes will affect the upcoming Raptors games on Mar. 1, Mar. 3, and Mar. 4.
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