Coronavirus update: Eagles, Phillies can’t have fans in the stands as Philadelphia bans large events for 6 mo – NJ.com

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If the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles play their seasons in 2020, they will do so without fans in the stands because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Philadelphia announced Tuesday a ban on large events for six months. KYW Newsradio, which broke the news, reported the ban will remain in effect until Feb. 8, 2021. According to the report, the ban doesn’t affect “performance venues and stadiums, so that would allow some professional sports possibly to return.”

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However, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said “the protocols for the major sports leagues ‘look pretty good’ but having spectators would not be safe.” So no fans in the stands for the Eagles and Phillies.

“I do think that games can be played with the kind of safety precautions that they’re proposing. I do not think that they can have spectators at those games. There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there,” Farley said. “I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not [have] crowds.”

“The Eagles are still going to be allowed to play, although without crowds. The Phillies will continue to be allowed to play, although without crowds,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.

The Phillies currently are using Citizens Bank Park for spring training 2.0. They are scheduled to open the coronavirus-shortened 60-game regular season on Friday, July 24 when they host the Miami Marlins.

The Eagles’ first regular-season home game at Lincoln Financial Field is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20 against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Tuesday’s announcement by the city of Philadelphia comes as the U.S. continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than three million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

As a result, New Jersey on Tuesday added four states to its coronavirus quarantine travel advisory list. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not among the 22 states listed.

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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