SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Following Thursday’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about loosened mask guidelines for fully-vaccinated people, the Salem Red Sox declared that face coverings will no longer be mandatory for fans.
The Salem Red Sox posted the following statement on Facebook on Thursday, May 13:
Effective immediately, face coverings are NOT required any longer by our fans. MLB is adopting requirements by state and local authorities and the City has confirmed this restriction can be removed.
All of our staff will continue to wear face coverings until further notice. That includes front office and our gameday employees.
This statement was posted just after the CDC eased mask-wearing guidance for fully-vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
The general manager of the Salem Red Sox, Allen Lawrence, hopes the relaxed guidelines will bring a sense of normalcy to baseball fans.
The ballpark is functioning at 30% capacity to allow for social distancing.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable coming out to the ballpark,” Lawrence said. “And regardless, I think we’ve spaced out the seats well enough that anybody can come out here and feel safe. We’re still promoting socially distancing at our concession stand lines and our seats wherever you are in the ballpark.”
Salem Red Sox officials say fans will now be allowed on the field for the National Anthem and first pitch. Starting in June, fans will be allowed on the field for between-inning games.
Gov. Ralph Northam lifted Virginia’s mask mandate Friday afternoon to align with new guidance from the CDC.