COVID-19 vaccine now required for all future Bills, Sabres home games

The new mandate comes after Sunday's season opener saw few people following masking rules set by Erie County

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Erie County and the Buffalo Bills are mandating a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend any remaining home game at Highmark Stadium this season. The same policy will apply for all Buffalo Sabres home games this upcoming season, as well as all other events held at both KeyBank Center and Highmark Stadium.

According to the policy, all guests age 12 and older will be required to provide proof of, at least, one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend Bills and Sabres games until Oct. 31. This includes the Bills games on Sunday, Sept. 26 (vs. Washington Football team) and Sunday, Oct. 3 (vs. Houston Texans), as well as all events, concerts, and Sabres games between Sept. 25 and Oct. 30.

Starting on Sunday, Oct. 31, guests must be fully vaccinated for entry at both Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center. Guests are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine.

Any guest under the age of 12 will not be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination, but they will be required to wear a mask at all times while at Highmark Stadium or KeyBank Center.

Fans will not have the option to test negative for COVID-19 in order to watch a Bills or Sabres game.

"There will be no exceptions," stated Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz in detailing the plans.

"This is a mutual decision," said Poloncarz in referencing ongoing discussions on the issue with Pegula Sports and Entertainment officials, including Terry and Kim Pegula.

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The mandate comes less than 48 hours after the Bills' home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite a policy that required fans to wear a mask along the concourse, most fans did not and there was no enforcement of the rules.

Eight different concession stands were cited by the Erie County Department of Health at Sunday's game for improper mask wearing.

To verify COVID-19 vaccination, all guests age 12 and older will be required to display one of the following before entry into the stadium:

- Physical Vaccination Card (photo will NOT be accepted)

- NYS Excelsior Pass

- Clear Digital Vaccine Card

- Government digital vaccine proof from outside NYS

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