NFL, NFLPA to suspend all COVID-19 protocols
The NFL and its players union, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), have agreed to suspend all COVID-19 protocols.
In a memo sent to all 32 teams on Thursday, the league said the reasoning to suspend the current protocols was due to the recent decline in cases of the virus, adding it is also following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recent guidance on COVID-19.
The CDC on Friday eased its mask recommendation for most Americans, advising that people living in communities with “low” or “medium” COVID-19 levels can go maskless.
“Encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, the evolving guidance from the CDC, changes to state law, and the counsel of our respective experts,” the NFL said in its memo, obtained by The Hill.
The league also told teams to abide by state and local laws regarding COVID-19 and will allow teams to “continue reasonable measures to protect their staff and players.”
Team players and staffers are also not required to wear face coverings at team facilities unless individual teams want to require a mask mandate, and social distancing signs will not be required, according to the statement.
“We will no longer conduct mandatory surveillance testing of any players or staff, regardless of vaccination status,” the league said. “Testing should only occur when clinically indicated or at the direction of the Club physician.”
No regular season league games were canceled during the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to the pandemic, but some contests were rescheduled or postponed due to outbreaks.
The league also dealt with some star players, including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, refusing to get vaccinated.
The NFL said in January that 95 percent of its players are vaccinated against the virus, and 100 percent of team personnel are vaccinated as well.