Rams, Chargers to require fans to wear masks at SoFi Stadium unless they are eating or drinking

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The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will continue to enforce COVID-19 protocols in 2021. All fans attending Chargers or Rams games in 2021 will be required to wear masks while seated at SoFi Stadium unless they are eating or drinking, the Rams announced Tuesday.

The teams will enact the policy after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued revised orders on outdoor mega events Tuesday. The revised orders require people to wear masks at events featuring more than 10,000 people

The mask policy applies to all fans, regardless of vaccination status. It will begin Saturday, when the Rams take on the Las Vegas Raiders during the second week of the preseason.

The Chargers have not officially announced the policy yet, but the team plays its games at SoFi Stadium with the Rams, so the announcement is expected.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health did not explain why the new policy was put in place. California COVID-19 cases are on the rise. The state had under 1,000 new COVID-19 cases June 30. On Monday, the state reported over 13,000 new cases.

The rise in cases comes as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads across the United States. The Delta variant is thought to be more contagious. While fully vaccinated individuals can still test positive for the virus, it's rare. The majority of deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 in recent months are occurring in unvaccinated individuals

Raiders, Saints requiring fans to provide proof fo vaccine

While the Chargers and Rams will require fans to wear masks, the teams haven't announced whether fans need to show proof of vaccination to attend games in 2021. Both the Raiders and New Orleans Saints will require fans to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend home games this season. The Saints will also allow fans who provide a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours.

Other teams may announce similar policies in the coming weeks. As more states impose new COVID-19 recommendations, NFL teams may alter their policies to comply with local requirements. 

Fans cheering at Rams game.
Fans will have to wear masks at Rams games in 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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