NFL: Mask-wearing, social distancing critical at Super Bowl, says Fauci
(Reuters) – Mask-wearing and social distancing will be paramount at next month’s Super Bowl, top U.S. infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci said on Friday ahead of the National Football League’s (NFL) championship game in Tampa, Florida.
The NFL is nearing the finish line after a season marked by schedule changes and numerous revisions to health and safety protocols due to COVID-19 but no outright cancellations.
The league now faces the task of putting on the biggest spectacle in U.S. professional sports amidst the pandemic.
A reduced crowd of 22,000 will be allowed inside the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who face the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7.
Fauci told the New York Press Club he was comfortable with the number of spectators allowed “as long as they wear masks and as long as there’s physical distancing. That’s the point.
“You can’t have people (sitting close) now given the level of infection, but mask wearing and limited capacity seating I think is reasonable since it’s an outdoor event which really, really makes a difference,” he added.