DORAL, FL – Miami Heat will become the first NBA team to have vaccinated-only sections at their games, starting on April 1 with a game against Golden State.
Earlier this week, the Heat announced its plans to open two sections in their lower bowl aimed for fully vaccinated fans against the coronavirus, under “very specific conditions and in accordance with local and state health and safety guidelines” as the NBA indicated teams last week, reported CBS4 Miami.
The NBA also told teams that if any of the sections provided have seats within 30 feet of the court, fans in those seats will have to take a PCR test two days prior to the game or an approved antigen test on game day.
In order to be accepted into those sections, fans will be required to show their Centers for Disease Control vaccination card, or other proof of having received their COVID-19 vaccine doses, along with a valid identification. Also, they need to have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to the game to be admitted.
Fans will be admitted through a different gate and, once inside, pods of groups will be separated by just one seat. Although not mandatory, the NBA has encouraged teams to include dedicated concession and restrooms in those sections and to limit as much as possible the possibilities for those fans to come in contact with others inside the arena.
Miami Heat fans fully vaccinated attending those sections will still have to wear facial coverings, although social distancing rules will be more relaxed, says the CBS4 Miami report.
As per NBA rules for these sections, children not eligible for now to get the COVID-19 vaccine would not be allowed inside, even if they are accompanied by their vaccinated parents or guardians.
“Things are moving…You’re already getting a sense that things are starting to change and go in a much more positive direction…All of us can’t wait until we get our building full again, and same thing for other arenas,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said to the media.