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Masks now only recommended at Texas Rangers games

The new policy would take effect May 17.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers games are about to feel even more like they did pre-pandemic.

In a Thursday announcement, the team said it was updating its mask policy and would now only recommend face coverings for all fans at Globe Life Field. Masks would not need to be worn when fans are actively eating or drinking at their seats. The new policy would take effect May 17, according to a news release.

This is a change from when a mask requirement that had previously been in place, though it didn't appear to be strictly enforced, as seen in images from a packed home opener last month.

The new stance on masks comes after the team said the Major League Baseball’s minimum policy on face coverings for attendees was eliminated, though, clubs, according to the MLB, must continue to abide by any applicable state and local requirements on face coverings. There is no statewide mask requirement currently in Texas. 

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It also comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would ease guidance on masks for fully vaccinated people. Under the new guidance, fully vaccinated people would no longer need to wear mask neither indoors nor outdoors, unless in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

The Texas Rangers said they would still have hand sanitizing stations available throughout the ballpark. Safe distancing would also continue to be enforced in concession lines and at retail locations, the team said in a news release.

Globe Life Field would remain cashless, as it was for 2020 events.