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MLSE updates Scotiabank Arena pandemic protocols ahead of Leafs season opener

Last Updated Oct 12, 2021 at 9:36 am EDT

Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto on March 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

The puck drops tonight on a new NHL regular season and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be opening their season at home on Wednesday night to a full house.

Officials from Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment revealed updated pandemic protocols on Tuesday morning that will be in effect for both Leafs and Raptors games this season now that the green light has been given to full capacity crowds in Ontario.

Fans will have to show full proof of vaccination to get into the arena as per provincial rules and the security screening at the arena will now be contactless.

“In the past we had a combination of walk-through metal detectors and wands,” says Nick Eaves, MLSE Chief Venues & Operations Officer. “This year we’re going to walkthrough metal detectors only.”

Fans are being urged to allow extra time for the screening when entering the arena.

Masks will be required inside the arena unless individuals are actively eating or drinking. MLSE says strict enforcement will be in place ensuring people follow the masking rules.

MLSE is also requiring that all staff and contractors that enter the arena be fully vaccinated.

“It is critical to us that we have only fully vaccinated people inside our building,” says Eaves.

The province announced last week it would expand capacity to 100 per cent for arenas, concert venues, theatres and cinemas. The new rule went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

Proof-of-vaccination is currently required in Ontario for all indoor activities and outdoor event venues.

Capacity limits remain in effect for all remaining sectors including restaurants, retail stores and personal care services.

When the Leafs take the ice on Wednesday it will have been 581 days since they skated in front of a full capacity home crowd.

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