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Lakers To Welcome Back Fans At Staples Center Thursday

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — For the first time in more than a year, the Los Angeles Lakers will see fans in the stands Thursday night when they host the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.

The state and Los Angeles County have both eased COVID-19 restrictions to allow spectators at indoor events, beginning Thursday.

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Exterior of Staples Center after both the NHL and NBA postpone seasons due to corona virus concerns at Staples Center on March 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Lakers will be the first major Southland sports franchise to reap the benefits of the change, welcoming back fans to the team's 7 p.m. tip-off.

According to the Lakers, about 2,000 fans are expected to attend Thursday night's game. The normal capacity at Staples Center for a Lakers game is about 19,000.

Fans however will have to adhere to the arena's updated health and safety guidelines. Staples Center released its updated guidelines Tuesday, which include proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event date.

Under the updated guidelines, a health verification will now be required for all ticketed guests.

Guests are required to present a photo ID, and either proof of full vaccination (two weeks since your final dose) or a negative COVID-19 test.

Meanwhile, face coverings will also be required for guests over the age of 2. Gaiters, bandanas, and coverings with exhalation vents will not be accepted and a face covering is still required under a face shield.

Guests will also be required to have their tickets on a mobile device and Staples Center will operate as a fully cash-free venue. To order any food and beverage, guests should use the QR Code located at the concession stand or the QR located at your seat.

Bags and purses of any size will not be permitted, including backpacks, clutches, totes, clear bags, and camera bags.

"Only bring necessary items that fit in your pocket," the venue said.

Fans should also practice safe social distancing and wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizer.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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