Viewers tweeted their frustration with how close fans were seated at Raymond James Stadium during the pregame festivities. Most of the fans pictured appeared to be wearing their masks.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a news release last month that the health care workers will be guests of the league to thank them for their service during the coronavirus pandemic. The health care workers will come from hospitals in Tampa and other areas of Central Florida and will receive free tickets to the game.
There were 14,500 additional fans allowed to attend the Super Bowl along with 7,500 health care workers who helped deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL said the protocols for fans attending the game outdoors include mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing, podded seating, touchless concession stands and other security checkpoints.
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills reminded fans to continue to take coronavirus precautions ahead of the Super Bowl.
Sills advised those celebrating to avoid large crowds and keep the Super Bowl parties to a minimum.
“We should all act as if someone is COVID infected around us at all times,” Dr. Sills told Fox Business’ “Cavuto Live” on Saturday. ” … If you do that, then you will take care of all the appropriate measures. You’ll wear a mask, you’ll wash your hands, you’ll stay distant from people.”
The health expert assured his guidance has helped players, coaches, and staff throughout the NFL season and advised fans to follow suit.
“The biggest transmission events that we’ve seen have been person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets,” Dr. Sills mentioned.
The NFL chief medical officer went on to say people can become “vulnerable” to the virus when eating in close proximity to one another. Social distancing and masking are critical to preventing the spread, Dr. Sills suggested.
Fox News’ Stephanie Giang-Paunon contributed to this report.