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MLSE to require proof of vaccination at all events beginning Sept. 22

MLSE to require proof of vaccination at all events beginning Sept. 22

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Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment confirmed Thursday that anyone attending public events at the organization’s facilities will need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, beginning Sept. 22.

The announcement comes one day after the province of Ontario announced it would be requiring proof of vaccination for indoor non-essential events, including live sports. MLSE — which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies and the stadiums those teams play in — says it will extend the requirement to events outdoors as well.

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“As an organization, MLSE fully supports the mandatory vaccination policy being implemented by the province as we all work together to create a path forward that protects our communities and allows a return to full operations for all businesses,” said Michael Friisdahl, President and CEO of MLSE, in a statement. “Providing the safest environment within our venues and protecting our community from the transmission of COVID-19 are our highest priorities and ensuring all attendees and staff at our events are fully vaccinated is the ultimate safeguard in that goal.

“We strongly believe that this mandatory vaccine policy, along with the other enhanced measures we are adding, should allow us to safely resume hosting both indoor and outdoor events at full capacity in time for the start of the Maple Leafs and Raptors seasons this Fall.”

The organization previously announced that beginning in mid-September that anyone attending events in their buildings — including customers, event staff and building employees — would need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Now, a negative COVID-19 test will not be enough unless someone is exempted from the vaccine by a verified medical certificate.

MLSE added that event personnel and other employees will also be required to show proof of full vaccination — something the Ontario government is not requiring under its protocols announced Wednesday.

Children who are 11 years old or younger will be exempt from the requirements while all attendees will still need to wear face coverings at all times.

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The policy will be first in effect at Scotiabank Arena when the Maple Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens in the pre-season on Sept. 25.

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