The NFL on Friday notified teams they will be prohibited from allowing draft-eligible prospects from traveling to meet with team officials.
As a measure designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the coronavirus, the league also is not allowing team personnel from traveling to any location to meet with draft-eligible players.
The action, which was sent out as a memo to the 32 NFL teams, is a change of course for the NFL, which said Thursday that each team was responsible for creating their own sets of guidelines.
“We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft-eligible players, and the public,” the NFL said in a statement on Friday. “It also has the ancillary benefit of ensuring competitive equality.”
The 49ers on Thursday announced most club and Levi’s Stadium employees have been instructed to work remotely while coaches and scouts were instructed to return home by the weekend.
The NFL draft is still scheduled for Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, in Las Vegas. The NFL this week canceled the Annual Owners Meeting, which was scheduled for late this month in Palm Beach, Florida.
In previous years, each team is allowed to bring 30 out-of-the-area prospects to their team facilities before the draft. The 49ers have not had any pre-draft visits to Santa Clara, a team official told NBC Sports Bay Area.
The NFL mandated that clubs are still permitted to conduct interviews via telephone and video conferences through the day prior to the draft. All interaction with a prospect must be reported to the league upon completion.
Teams can schedule no more than three telephone calls or video conferences with a prospect per week (Sunday through Saturday). Each interaction can last no more than one hour, according to the new regulations. The calls are not allowed to be conducted at a time that interferes with the player’s school schedule.
The NFL warns that any club personnel who violate the restrictions will be subject to league discipline.