Before the Chicago Bulls hit the field and the Chicago Blackhawks hit the ice this weekend, you want to know about the changes to the COVID-19 policies at United Center.
While Chicago is lifting mandates for coronavirus vaccine and indoor masking across the city, the United Center has announced plans to ease some, but not all, of its guidelines for fans.
Here’s what you need to know:
Do you still need to show proof of COVID vaccination?
Going forward, the United Center will continue to require all participants to present proof of vaccination, but will now provide the opportunity to show a negative COVID test to gain access to the site.
Previously, the United Center had required proof of vaccination to enter and did not accept a negative test.
Do you have to wear a mask?
Masks are now optional at United Center games and events, but the site still says they are “recommended.”
Have the new guidelines already started?
The updated guidelines only take effect for Blackhawks fans on Thursday for their home game with the Edmonton Oilers, and for Bulls fans on Friday for their home game with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Blackhawks will be on Friday, then away Saturday, against the Philadelphia Flyers. On Sunday, the team returns to United Center to play Tampa Bay Lightning.
After departure Saturday and Sunday, the Bulls will be in Philadelphia for their matchup against the 76ers on Monday.
The Bulls play eight of their remaining 21 games in the regular season at home and hope to host playoff basketball at United Center this spring.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, play 14 of their remaining 28 games in the regular season at home, but cannot boast such playoff hopes.
Are there other notable COVID protocols?
Although they have not changed drastically, United Center will continue to perform all ticket checks and payments in a contactless format.
The room also has improved cleaning standards, including disinfection equipment, more frequent cleaning and the addition of more sanitation stations.