Fully vaccinated NFL players also required to get COVID-19 tests weekly
- Earlier, fully vaccinated NFL players were required to get tested for COVID-19 every 14 days
- Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wait for results prior to entering a team's facility
- The weekly testing applies also for fully vaccinated Tier 1 and 2 staff
National Football League players who are fully vaccinated will now need to undergo a COVID-19 test every week, reports the Associated Press. The initial protocols, that had been agreed upon by the NFL and the National Football League Players Association, required players to get tested every 14 days. The revised protocols will be in effect during the regular season.
The guidelines for weekly testing also apply to Tier 1 and 2 staff that is fully vaccinated. There is also an option for a second test for those who want it. A memo with the revised protocols was sent to all clubs, reports AP.
Players who are fully vaccinated but awaiting the test results will be allowed to enter the team's facility. Each club has been asked to conduct its testing over a three-day period.
Players who are unvaccinated will continue to be subject to daily COVID-19 tests. Last week, the NFL had said that 93% of the players are fully vaccinated.
Each team's non-player traveling party will be reduced to a maximum of 75 people. Masks must be worn during travel, eating "should be kept to a minimum" and seating will be assigned.
Also, public transportation is prohibited for everyone in the traveling party and unvaccinated players or staff may not use private transportation.
The announcement by NFL comes at a come when America is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Nationwide, COVID-19 deaths are running at more than 1,200 a day, the highest level since mid-March. New cases per day are averaging over 156,000, turning the clock back to the end of January.
The rise is being attributed to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which experts consider to be the most infectious strain yet. Scientists are still conducting studies to see if the existing vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. The vaccination rates across the country are also dropping, fuelling the surge in cases.