Vancouver fans cheer on BC Lions, but with pandemic changes – .

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Vancouver fans cheer on BC Lions, but with pandemic changes – .


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of fans will come to BC Place for the BC Lions football game on Thursday in the first big event in Vancouver in over a year.

But it won’t look like the pre-COVID era.

British Columbia remains in Stage 3 of its restart plan, which limits participation in sporting events. The province is expected to move to Stage 4 on September 7, which should lift restrictions on major events like sports and concerts.

But until then, there will be many signs the province remains in the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Fans will likely notice a lot of empty seats in BC Place. Only half of the lower deck is available to reduce capacity to meet public health guidelines, which only allow 50% of stadium capacity.

Masks are recommended but not mandatory, which aligns with current health ordinances.

“These will be mobile tickets without a ticket, they’re on your phone, just like an airline boarding pass,” BC Lions president Rick LeLacheur said of the new rules.

There are also security changes. BC Place has a clear bag policy in place which it believes will speed things up.

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Due to security concerns related to COVID-19, staff will be in the lobby trying to distribute the crowd.

« [Vancouver] Coastal Health and Provincial Health asked us to try to get people moving. Using the restroom is okay and you’ll get concessions, but once that’s done go to your seats and don’t congregate in the lobby, ”he said.

A similar scene is expected on Saturday, when the Vancouver Whitecaps host their home opener.

Fans are not required to be vaccinated to attend games at BC Place. This differs from the rule set in Winnipeg, where public health orders require fans to present their vaccination cards before attending a Blue Bombers game.

“According to our protocols, we are following exactly what Dr. Henry asked us to do in all the protocols. We’re going to make sure we follow those protocols because we want to make sure our fans are absolutely safe, ”LeLacheur said of the rules in place.

The game comes as British Columbia continues to see a high number of COVID-19 cases, linked to the highly infectious Delta variant.

Establishment of a vaccination clinic:

Fans will also be able to get vaccinated before the match if they have not yet been fully immunized.

Vancouver Coastal Health will be onsite at Terry Fox Plaza with a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

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Busy transit

The smaller crowd at BC Place should help keep transit disruption to a minimum, according to the transit police chief.

Chief Dave Jones says this will give the officers a chance to adjust, who likely haven’t dealt with fans in some time.

“This will give us time to revive and reinstate the practices and protocols we had before COVID happened,” Jones said.

He adds that the vast majority of agents have been doubly vaccinated and are not required to wear a mask.

Back to business

Vancouver’s business sector is eagerly awaiting the return of live sports to the city and expect it to lead to an economic recovery.

“It’s really exciting for downtown businesses. Exercising downtown and at BC Place is an important part of the downtown ecosystem, ”said Nolan Marshall III, President and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.



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