Ticats, Forge FC announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or negative test for home games

All Hamilton Tiger-Cat and Forge FC employees, event staff, ticketholders and media must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Tim Hortons Field, it was announced Monday.

Protocol part of effort to provide 'safe and secure environment,' says Hamilton's CFL team

Hamilton Tiger-Cats fans will have to be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 to attend games starting Sept. 6, according to the team. (Aaron Lynett/Canadian Press)

Anyone planning to attend a Hamilton Tiger-Cat or Forge FC game at Tim Hortons Field will need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or test negative for the virus.

The Ticats announced the new safety measure, which will be in place starting with the home opener against the Toronto Argonauts on Sept. 6, in a release Monday morning.

It says all employees, event staff, ticketholders and media must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter the stadium.

The Forge will play its first game under the new protocol on Sept. 11.

"Recognizing that Tim Hortons Field is a central gathering point for many Hamiltonians and others in the surrounding area, the Tiger-Cats and Forge FC will continue to put the health and safety of its employees, partners and fans at the forefront in an effort to provide a safe and secure environment at the stadium at all times," reads the release.

It adds that further details on the health and safety protocols will be shared in the coming days.

Hamilton Public Health recently announced a series of mobile vaccine clinics taking place at Tim Hortons Field during Ticats practices.

The clinics are being held over the next three days. People can get a first or second dose, then stay to watch the team practice, which would otherwise be closed to the public, according to the team.

Those who get a shot will receive a voucher for two tickets to any game for Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League this regular season, and be entered in a draw to win tickets to Ticats games and autographed jerseys.

Blue Jays also require proof of vaccination

The Ticats policy for home games comes as new COVID-19 cases have been reported within the CFL. Several Edmonton Elks players tested positive and the team's next game, which was supposed to be against the Argonauts on Thursday, has been postponed.

The MLB's Toronto Blue Jays also announced new rules around vaccines and testing on Monday.

Beginning Sept. 13, everyone 12 and older must show proof they were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 14 days before the game they're going to watch or present a negative test from a health-care provider that was taken within 48 hours.

with files from the Canadian Press