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Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn Athletics has changed its policy regarding spectators at indoor winter sports events, as fans are now allowed to attend games in person again, beginning on Feb. 1.

In order to get into the Palestra and other Penn sporting facilities, all spectators ages 12 and above must show proof of vaccination as well as a valid government or school photo ID. Additionally, fans ages five years and three months through 11 years must show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to be allowed in, and they must show proof of full vaccination by Feb. 3.

While at games, fans need to wear either an N95, KN95, or cloth mask over a surgical mask, which is a policy that is shared by other Ivy League schools. Though concessions would normally be a reason fans could briefly take off their masks, concessions will not be available to spectators at the Palestra for the time being.

Penn Athletics announced on Dec. 30 that spectators would not be allowed to attend indoor winter sporting events for the foreseeable future due to rising rates of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. With this change in policy, it’s clear that the University feels comfortable enough with Omicron rates that it thinks it’s safe to allow fans back into the Palestra and other sporting facilities.

The allowance of fans back in the Palestra comes at an opportune time for the Quakers, as Penn's men's basketball team currently sits at third place in the Ivy League, while Penn's women's basketball team currently is situated at fifth in the conference.