Hawks update COVID-19 protocols at State Farm Arena for coming season

070321 Atlanta: State Farm Arena is set for the Atlanta Hawks to play the Milwaukee Bucks in game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Atlanta.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
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070321 Atlanta: State Farm Arena is set for the Atlanta Hawks to play the Milwaukee Bucks in game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

With the Hawks’ first exhibition home game Wednesday and first regular season home game Oct. 21, fans can expect several of the team’s COVID-19 protocols at State Farm Arena to look similar to the end of last season.

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There are two main exceptions: for fans sitting further than 15 feet away of the court, masks will be recommended instead of required, and there won’t be separate vaccinated/unvaccinated sections, which were implemented for the playoffs. So, attending a home game will look much closer to what it did two seasons ago.

State Farm Arena will be back to 100% capacity for the 2021-22 NBA season (for the postseason, a few rows were blocked off behind team benches, but that won’t be the case this year). There will still be contactless entry, security screening and transactions, with touchless hand sanitizer and fixtures in bathrooms, and the team is still utilizing increased cleaning procedures.

There are a few different rules for fans sitting in or with access to “player-approximate areas,” or within 15 feet of the court, the back of the player bench/scorer’s table, locker rooms or a back-of-house team area. Per NBA rules, those fans (age 2 or older) will have to show proof of vaccination or return a negative COVID-19 test before the game (from a PCR test up to two days before a game day, or a rapid test from the day of the game), and will have to wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.

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