Toronto Blue Jays Mandate COVID Vaccination, Negative Test for Fans

The Toronto Blue Jays became the latest professional sports team to announce that a COVID-19 vaccine will be required for fans attending games. Fans can also submit a negative COVID-19 test if they are opposed to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the team wrote, "The Blue Jays' homecoming marking a significant step in our city and country's return to normal, as one of the first in-person, live events in Canada in a year and a half. We are committed to doing our part to keep our community's recovery efforts moving forward and to see Rogers Centre and other live event venues return to full capacity."

"In consulting with our live event industry partners and public health experts, listening to fan feedback, and adapting to the changing environment, the Blue Jays will require proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for all fans, staff, and guests aged 12 and older entering Rogers Centre beginning September 13," the statement continued.

The Blue Jays made their return to Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 30 when they defeated the Kansas City Royals. The Blue Jays were previously unable to play at the Rogers Centre due to Canada's COVID-19 regulations and instead, the team played at Sahlen Stadium in Buffalo, New York, the home of the Blue Jays' AAA affiliate.

According to the Blue Jays' website, the team will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved in Canada received at least 14 days before the day of the game.

"A negative COVID-19 test result from a healthcare provider taken within 48 hours of the game's scheduled start time [will also be accepted]," the team wrote on their website.

Children under the age of 12 are not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, according to the team's announcement.

In January, MLB announced that teams could decide to mandate COVID-19 vaccines if they wanted to, but stopped short of issuing a league-wide requirement for fans.

In addition to the Blue Jays, several other professional sports teams have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for fans.

The Las Vegas Raiders were one of the first professional sports franchises to announce a vaccine mandate for home games at the Allegiant Stadium.

"Health and safety has always been our number one priority," Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. "After consultation with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season."

The New Orleans Saints also recently announced a vaccine requirement for fans.

MLB directed Newsweek to the announcement by the Blue Jays after reaching out for comment.

Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays announced on Monday, August 23, 2021 that fans will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend games or submit a negative COVID-19 test. Mark Blinch/Getty