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Under new guidance, Buffalo Bills games will be allowed 100% capacity without vaccination checks

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

As we’ve said all along, the coronavirus restrictions can change very quickly. With new guidance delivered on Tuesday by New York State governor Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Bills games in the fall will be at 100 percent capacity in Highmark Stadium WITHOUT the need to check for COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test.

“Highmark Stadium is considered an outdoor venue which can operate at full, 100 percent capacity without restrictions,” said a New York State spokesperson, noting that indoor gatherings of more than 5000 people would still have to follow state guidance.

With 70 percent of New York’s adult residents receiving at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, restrictions on capacity around the state were lifted in most places.

Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz, the man in charge of the County which owns the stadium, had previously said that he would only open the stadium to 100 percent capacity if everyone in attendance was fully vaccinated. At the time, Cuomo pushed back saying he didn’t think that was legal, but then backtracked when he was wrong. (Cuomo was on hand when Radio City Music Hall and other venues made the 100 percent vaccine requirement a mandate.)

Players are still required to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set forth in the agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association. We will update on any changes that take place in those guidelines when they occur.