NFL suspends all COVID protocols and cites "encouraging trend"

All aspects of NFL's COVID-19 protocols have been suspended. The NFL cited recent trends that indicate that coronavirus spread is decreasing.

NFL suspends all COVID protocols and cites "encouraging trend"

The league and players' association reached an agreement and sent a memo Thursday to all 32 teams. It stated that the league was encouraging trends in the severity and prevalence of COVID-19, evolving guidance from CDC, changes in state law, and the counsel of their respective experts as reasons for the move.

If the NFL finds reasons to revise any aspect of the protocols, it will do this in conjunction with the NFL Players Association.

The memo from The Associated Press states that teams must comply with all applicable laws. They may also continue to take reasonable measures to protect their players and staff.

Players and staff are no longer required to wear face covers at team facilities regardless of their vaccination status. However, each club may require it. Signs of social distancing are no longer required.

The league has eliminated the requirement for mandatory testing of staff and players, regardless of their vaccination status. Only medically necessary testing will be performed or under the guidance of a team physician.

Each team must also have the ability to accept anyone reporting symptoms that need testing.

Weight room restrictions have been removed, including limits on capacity, but each team can still set its own rules.

Contact tracing devices are no longer required since Jan. 3. The service has been discontinued.

The league encourages everyone to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms on a daily basis, before they can enter the team facility. Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must remain isolated for at least five days.

The pandemic did not cause any NFL games to be cancelled during the last two seasons, but many were moved for the 2020 season. The league reported that nearly 95% of players and almost 100% of team personnel had been vaccinated.

The NHL has previously stopped testing for virus in individuals with no symptoms or other distancing protocols. The lockout of players has prevented MLB from making any moves and there is no new collective bargaining arrangement. The NBA has not changed protocols. This week, Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns All-Star player and coach of Brooklyn Nets, and Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets's coach were both placed in safety and health protocols.