When Flyers and 76ers fans walk through the Wells Fargo Center doors, they will soon have to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination in addition to their tickets.
According to a new citywide mandate, vaccination will be required for any indoor venue that serves food after Jan. 3. Until Jan. 17, unvaccinated guests may show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the last 24 hours. After Jan. 17, everyone — employees and patrons — over the age of 5 must be vaccinated anywhere “you can eat together indoors,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said.
Children under 5 and people with medical or religious exemptions for vaccination will continue to have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
This isn’t a new procedure for the Wells Fargo Center. It has previously hosted events, such as a Harry Styles concert, that required proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
“We’re well prepared to comply with the city’s new policy,” said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center. “As an organization, we have strongly supported vaccination efforts, but we also know that we’re able to continue providing a safe environment for our guests by ensuring that everyone who enters the arena is either vaccinated or verifiably negative for COVID.”
All of the staff at the Wells Fargo Center has been vaccinated, as have all the Flyers players and staff members. The Wells Fargo Center launched the “Take your Shot” campaign and has hosted several vaccination clinics in partnership with Penn Medicine and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. Along with Penn Medicine, it will host another before the Flyers game on Jan. 15.
The city’s mandate comes as hospitalization numbers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are increasing and winter weather rolls in. Cases have doubled in the city in the last two weeks, and hospitalizations have increased by 50%.
Other NHL cities have already put into effect similar mandates. Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, New York (Islanders), Seattle, and St. Louis require fans to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test.