Fully vaccinated NFL players and tiered staff will no longer be required to wear masks inside or outside at club facilities, the league announced Friday in a memo obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
The updated protocol comes following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s easement on Thursday of mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.
“Effective immediately, fully vaccinated Tiered staff and players will not be required to wear masks anywhere in the club facility, either indoors or outdoors,” the NFL memo read in part. “An individual is considered “fully vaccinated” if 14 days have passed since the individual received his or her last dose of COVID-19 vaccine (either the single dose of Johnson & Johnson or the second does of Pfizer or Moderna). Tiered staff and players who are not fully vaccinated (i.e. have not received any vaccine, or are within the 14-day period after receipt of the last does of the vaccine) must continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors at the club facility as required in the October 16, 2020 Club Facility Protocol unless and until they are fully vaccinated.”
The league went on to state additional changes to COVID-19 protocols were expected “consistent with CDC guidelines”, and that teams would still have to adhere to local and/or state regulations, “even if they are more restrictive.”
This is the latest modification regarding COVID-19 protocols for the league and further incentive for NFL players and staff to get vaccinated.
In April, the league announced fully vaccinated individuals would only be required to test on a weekly basis rather than daily and would not have to submit to “entry” testing following travel. Earlier in May, the NFL encouraged all clubs to offer COVID-19 vaccines to rookies.
As things begin to open back up and masks begin to come down, the league is maintaining its advocacy for vaccination and Friday’s development is one of the more significant as the NFL — and the country — endeavor to return to normalcy.
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