Fans allowed to attend more than half of Week 6 games

FILE PHOTO: Sep 20, 2020; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seats are empty at State Farm Stadium before the Arizona Cardinals home opener against the Washington Football Team in Glendale, Ariz. Sept. 20, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow/Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

(Reuters) – For the first time this season more than half of this weekend’s NFL games will welcome fans, the league said on Saturday as it oversees its 2020 campaign amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine of the 14 Week 6 National Football League games will permit fans, while 18 of the 32 teams across the league have been approved to welcome ticket holders, a spokesman said.

The NFL was forced to shuffle its schedule earlier this week due to positive COVID-19 tests among players and personnel.

It ramped up its safety protocols earlier this month, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of pre-season and the annual Pro Bowl game.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reporting 8,028,332 total infections and 217,918 deaths.

In an effort to keep its season on track, the NFL recently escalated potential punishments for teams found flouting its coronavirus prevention measures, including the possible forfeiture of games.

A handful of coaches were fined after appearing on the sidelines of Week 2 games without proper face coverings. Their affiliated teams also received fines.

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