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The National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have announced tighter COVID-19 protocols as both leagues have seen a recent rise of cases.

The NFL will require everyone to wear masks for everyone regardless of vaccination status and says teams will shift to remote or outdoor meetings, according to The Associated Press. The league will also halt in-person meals, add restrictions on activities around the facility, prohibit outside visitors during travel and limit the number of people in weight rooms. It is also advocating for booster shots.

“Finally, and based on expert advice, we will adjust the return-to-participation requirements for those who have recovered from COVID-19,” the NFL said in a statement, per the AP. “All of these changes are grounded in our data and science-backed approach, with safety our No. 1 goal for the entire NFL community.”

The updated rules will be enforced through Week 15 games and could be extended beyond that.

The NBA is also strengthening its health and safety protocols. Masks are required in almost all circumstances during team activities, with the only exceptions being for on-court basketball activities for players and for head coaches during games, according to the AP. It will also increase testing from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8.

The association said, per the AP, that more requirements will be announced in the next few days “to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the team environment.”

The spread of COVID-19 has caused created roadblocks for sports leagues across the U.S.

Although the NFL has not yet canceled or postponed any games, teams lost crucial players due to the reserve/COVID-19 list, CNN reported. The NBA has postponed two games due to the pandemic. 

Tags COVID-19 NBA NFL protocols Sports and Politics
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