PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia officials announced Tuesday that all large public events in the city will be canceled over the next seven months in an attempt to avoid an increase in COVID-19 infections.
The city has preemptively canceled all large events through Feb. 28, 2021, officials told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told the Inquirer that the Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies may be able to play home games, but spectators will not be allowed to attend.
“I do think that games can be played with the kind of safety precautions that (the NFL and Major League Baseball) are proposing," Farley said. "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. I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not (have) crowds.”
City Managing Director Brian Abernathy told the Inquirer NFL guidelines also “remind teams that local authorities have the ability to ban fans, so I don’t expect any issues.”
“We have been in communication with the Eagles. We have told them our expectations are that they don’t have fans,” he said.
Philadelphia's policy affects everything from the Thanksgiving Day Parade to the 2021 Mummers Parade.
The city has recently seen modest increases in COVID-19 cases, according to Phillyvoice.com.
Not included in the city's policy are private outdoor events with fewer than 50 people guests, recreational sports with fewer than 25 participants, and events on private property such as stadiums and performance venues.
Philadelphia remains in a "modified restricted green phase" of Pennsylvania's COVID-19 reopening process until at least August 1. Activities such as indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and attending gyms and fitness centers, remain prohibited until further notice.