NFL streamlines COVID-19 protocol

The NFL has updated its COVID-19 protocol and no longer requires unvaccinated players to wear a mask during outdoor practice.

Barry wilner
Associated Press

In a note sent to the 32 teams on the circuit that The Associated Press has obtained a copy of, the league explains that players can remove their masks from the start of stretching until the end of training, but must put it back on afterwards.

This update also applies to practices in a team’s “bubble”, the indoor training complex.

Players who do not train must still wear the mask if they have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. They must also wear a face cover for weight training sessions, outdoor team meetings and post-practice periods when families of players are admitted to the field.

The league has also eased measures for the families of players who are passing through training. They can now join players and all level 1 and 2 staff – employees who interact directly with players – on the field. Outdoor social events are permitted at the resort, with certain restrictions.

For teams that have a vaccination rate below 90%, visitors must show proof of vaccination upon arrival.

Children under 12 are accepted on the field for events, but must wear a mask and respect physical distancing, as are unvaccinated players and staff.

As for the teams that have a rate exceeding 90%, they will not need to require proof of vaccination from visitors. The same restrictions apply to people who are not vaccinated.

Unvaccinated players will be able to remove their masks during outside media interviews, provided social distancing is respected.

Ultimately, the league and the NFL Players Association agreed that side effects within 48 hours of a vaccination will be considered a football-related injury.

The doctor of the team in question must « determine in a reasonable way whether these effects are related to the vaccine ».

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