Bills update COVID vaccination policy at home games to include fans age 5 and older

Previous Buffalo Bills policy only required fans 12 and older to provide proof of vaccination

The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday that anyone age 5 and older will now be required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend games at Highmark Stadium, effective immediately.

Fans aged 5-11 will be required to show at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend home games, while guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated, the team announced on its website, citing the New York state mandate. 

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Buffalo Bills fans celebrate a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Highmark Stadium on Dec. 19, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. 

Buffalo Bills fans celebrate a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Highmark Stadium on Dec. 19, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The previous policy only required fans 12 and older to provide proof of vaccination. 

According to The Buffalo News, the vaccine policy also applies to the KeyBank Center, where the Buffalo Sabres play.  

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a mask mandate earlier this month, which requires all indoor public places to require masks unless the business or venue requires proof of full vaccination.

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Buffalo Bills fans watch their team play against the Carolina Panthers at Highmark Stadium on Dec. 19, 2021, in Orchard Park, New York. 

Buffalo Bills fans watch their team play against the Carolina Panthers at Highmark Stadium on Dec. 19, 2021, in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The Bills announcement comes just one day after veteran wideout Cole Beasley tested positive for COVID-19. He took aim at the NFL’s testing procedures, saying the "rules" are preventing him from rejoining his team. 

"Just to be clear COVID is not keeping me out of this game. The rules are," he wrote in an Instagram post. "Vaxxed players are playing with Covid every week now because they don't test. One of my vaxxed teammates is in the hospital missing games. I'm sure he didn't get this same energy. Thank you for those who support. Everyone else, if you don't get what's happening then there is nothing anybody can do for you."

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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley jogs on the field prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley jogs on the field prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL and the NFLPA recently implemented a new rule change regarding the testing procedures for vaccinated players following last week’s uptick in COVID cases. Under the new policy, fully vaccinated players who show no signs of symptoms will no longer be subject to weekly testing.