Major League Baseball Reduces Covid-19 Restrictions For Minors
Within moments of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing its recommendation that people who have received the full coronavirus vaccine can go about their day inside and outside unmasked, Major League Baseball removed several of the restrictions that it had placed on minor league teams.
According to multiple minor league operators, going forward minor league teams no longer have to create a buffer zone between players and fans around the dugouts, bullpens and down the foul lines. That will allow teams to once again sell those seats to fans—before, many prime seating locations were forced to be blocked off to ensure no fans came within close proximity of on-field players and staff.
Additionally, the MLB mask mandate that required all fans to wear a mask whenever they were unable to social distance at the park has also been removed. Instead, MLB now says that minor league teams should follow local authority guidance as far as mask wearing.
Earlier on May 13, the CDC said that fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks or social distancing even when they are indoors or among large groups.
The MLB rules around what the minor league operators need to do have changed rapidly during the first two weeks of the season. When the season began, only covered personnel were allowed onto the field during the game. Covered personnel are a very strictly limited number of players, coaches and staff.
But on May 7, MLB relaxed some of those restrictions, permitting national anthem singers, first pitch throwers and fans participating in promotions onto the field as long as they entered and exited the field from a separate entrance than covered personnel and that they did not interact or come within 12 feet of covered personnel.
Now on May 13, further restrictions have been lifted.