Ahead of Week 1, the NFL and NFLPA reportedly have agreed on a few revisions to the league’s COVID-19 protocols for both vaccinated and unvaccinated players, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Testing for fully vaccinated players and staff will take place every week instead of every two weeks. Last week the NFLPA had proposed having daily testing for everyone regardless of vaccination status. Under this new plan, players can choose to undergo a second test each week or to be tested daily if they live with people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Two changes are also reportedly being made to the masking rules. All staff who interact directly with players in an indoor setting will need to wear masks regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated. Also, unvaccinated players will no longer have to wear masks in outdoor settings. (The CDC has long said that COVID-19 transmission is far less likely outdoors, especially in uncrowded areas.)
Although at least 93% of players have been vaccinated, the league had proposed requiring all players to be vaccinated, which the NFLPA opposed. Unvaccinated players will still be at risk of missing time if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, while vaccinated players will not miss any time as long as they test negative.