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University of Maryland sports teams returning to full capacity as COVID-19 restrictions loosen

The University of Maryland, College Park is calling all fans back to its stadiums and courts.

All Terps sports teams will be able to play in front of full-capacity crowds in their upcoming 2021-22 sports seasons, the university’s athletics department announced Monday. Capacity restrictions put in place after the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic will be removed, as the state sees coronavirus metrics trending downward and vaccinations continuing.

The decision was announced after Prince George’s County removed capacity restrictions for sports venues, both indoors and outdoors, as of May 17. Gov. Larry Hogan loosened capacity restrictions on restaurants and other venues as of May 15, though local jurisdictions could elect to maintain restrictions.

All attendees older than 5 years old will still be required to wear masks, in line with the updated county and state rules.

The relaxing of coronavirus-related restrictions has come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks, even indoors. Key COVID-19 metrics, including new daily cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations, have steadily declined in recent weeks.

“We are very grateful to the officials in the state of Maryland, Prince George’s County and the University of Maryland who continued to safely navigate us through these difficult and unprecedented times,” Athletic Director Damon Evans said in a news release. “We knew the day would come when we could welcome our loyal Terp fans back to our venues at full capacity in a safe manner. This is wonderful news for our community and the entire state of Maryland.”

The Terrapins football team is limiting its travel this fall season, with seven of its 12 games to be played in College Park, according to the release. The team’s season opens at home against West Virginia on Sept. 4.

Other stadiums throughout Maryland will also be returning to their pre-pandemic forms in 2021. The Baltimore Orioles will not restrict ticket sales starting June 1, and the Baltimore Ravens are planning to allow fans at full capacity in the fall.

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