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Maple Leafs, Raptors to end proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement for fans

Maple Leafs, Raptors to end proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement for fans
MLSE will halt its proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement for fans entering its venues, such as Scotiabank Arena, on March 1. Photo courtesy of Paperfire/Wikimedia Commons

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment announced Friday that it will discontinue its proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement for fans entering its venues, beginning in early March.

MLSE owns the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA's Toronto Raptors, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts.

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The move comes after an announcement from the Ontario government this week that it intended to accelerate plans to ease attendance restrictions at indoor sporting events.

On Monday, the Ontario government announced that 50% of seating capacity would be allowed at large sporting and live music venues, starting Thursday. Full capacity at those venues would be permitted March 1 -- the same day MLSE will halt its proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

MLSE said in a statement that the only exception will be "in cases of league rules that require proof of vaccination for fans and personnel in close proximity to playing surfaces." Masking requirements will remain in effect across the province and in MLSE's venues.

Currently, MLSE owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field, Coca-Cola Coliseum, Ford Performance Centre, BMO Training Ground and OVO Athletic Centre.

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