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Athletics to Require Proof of Vaccination, Negative Test for Spectators at Indoor Home Contests

Beginning Oct. 15, all spectators at indoor athletics events — including those held at the Malkin Athletic Center — must provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.
Beginning Oct. 15, all spectators at indoor athletics events — including those held at the Malkin Athletic Center — must provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test. By Josie W. Chen
By Benjamin L. Fu, Crimson Staff Writer

Attendees of all indoor athletic events will have to present proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, according to a new policy set by Harvard Athletics.

The policy will take effect at home games starting Oct. 15, the Athletics Department announced in a press release Friday. Vaccination compliance may be fulfilled through presenting a print or digital copy of a vaccine card, which shows two dates for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and one date for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Spectators who are “exempt from or ineligible” to receive the vaccine can still attend indoor events by showing a negative Covid-19 PCR test administered during the past 72 hours.

Children under the age of 12 do not need to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test result, but they must comply with all other policies, including the indoor mask mandate set by the University and the City of Cambridge.

Due to Harvard’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate, University affiliates only have to present their ID cards to receive entry. Therefore, the Athletics update only affects non-University affiliates, such as family, local fans, and members of the media.

Indoor athletic events will remain at full capacity.

The new policy will affect Harvard teams including basketball, fencing, ice hockey, squash, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling.

Those who do not comply will not be admitted, but attendees who have already purchased tickets for events will be able to exchange their tickets for an event happening at a later date. They will still need to provide proof of compliance upon the later date.

Deputy Director of Athletics Nathan Fry wrote in an email to staff shared with The Crimson that the recently announced protocols “align our athletic venues with other public-facing indoor venues on Harvard’s campus.”

“We will continue to communicate our protocols and requirements to all visiting teams and ticket holders this year,” Fry noted.

Co-presidents of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Sydney Sorkin ’21-’22, Dominique A. Petrie ’22, and Elizabeth T.C. “Liz” Boyer ’22-’23, wrote in a joint statement that they support the safety precautions.

“We’re excited to be back on campus this year, especially to compete in our respective seasons,” they wrote in the emailed statement. “Being able to have our fans and community support us in person is a vital part of our athletic experience and we support any measure that allows our fans to do this in a safe manner.”

—Staff writer Benjamin L. Fu can be reached at benjamin.fu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @benfu_2.

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