The SEC is leaving many decisions regarding stadium attendance up to its 14 member institutions as the league moves ahead with a planned start date of Sept. 26 for its. But there was one key requirement the league mandated in "fan heath and safety guidelines" released Tuesday: fans must wear masks at specified times.
"Face coverings (over the nose and mouth) shall be required as a condition of all guest ingress, egress, and movement throughout the stadium, as well as any time guests are unable to maintain the recommended physical distance from others who are not in their same household," the league's guidelines said.
The league is also mandating that stadium workers and athletics staff wear face coverings at all times inside game venues.
Here are the other notable attendance protocols which the league announced on Tuesday, one day after it unveiled its complete schedule for the 2020 season:
- Institutions shall determine the number of guests permitted to attend in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines, policies and/or regulations. In the absence of state and/or local guidelines, policies and/or regulations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on physical distancing should be applied.
- Barriers (e.g., plexiglass) shall be installed at all points-of-sale or otherwise all concessions staff shall wear a face shield plus a mask.
- Queuing lines at points-of-sale shall permit physical distancing between guests.
- "Grab and go" food/beverage options should be considered at points-of-sale locations.
- All tickets shall be digitally scanned.
- Institutions shall have a documented plan that outlines the procedures/protocol for appropriate disinfection of the stadium.
- Institutions shall have a documented plan that outlines the procedures/protocol for working with guests who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
- Institutions shall launch a communication/public relations campaign for communicating all COVID-19 procedures/protocol to prospective guests.
- Individual schools will decide whether to hold team walks to the stadium. But if they take place, the league will require that everyone attending -- including players and staff -- wear masks. The issue of tailgating will also be an institutional decision
"These fan guidelines have been adopted by the 14 member schools of the Southeastern Conference as baseline recommendations for the campus management of fan health and safety," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. "Although local and state guidelines will determine if and how many fans can attend games, these guidelines provide conference-wide expectations for protection of guests who are able to attend our games."