NFL Employees Without Vaccinations Will Have Access to Facilities Restricted

Adam WellsApril 13, 2021

FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 28: A logo for the NFL is seen during a game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The NFL will restrict the amount of access team employees have to facilities if they don't receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

In a league memo sent to all 32 teams and obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, employees who refuse the vaccine without “bona fide medical or religious ground” won't have Tier 1 or Tier 2 access to club facilities:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Here’s the full NFL memo, which also says teams must report weekly the number of employees who are vaccinated, as conversations with the NFLPA continue on the thresholds at which protocols on testing, PPE, travel, etc., can be relaxed. pic.twitter.com/FXuIhFP6Vh

The memo states teams should use their stadiums or training facilities "as a vaccination site for club staff, players, and eligible family members."

The league also noted benefits of getting vaccinated means team employees no longer have to undergo COVID testing, no longer wear a tracking device nor will they be considered a high-risk close contact if they are around someone who tests positive for the virus. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL told teams in a memo issued last month that it will have relaxed regulations for the 2021 draft, including allowing up to 10 individuals in a draft room without requiring masks and relaxed social-distancing measures as long as all of those individuals have been fully vaccinated. 

As part of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols last year, the league mandated each team create tiers in order to define where personnel could go within the facilities and what they were allowed to do. 

Tier 1 employees were all essential personnel, including coaches, players, trainers, physicians and anyone else who needed direct access to players. 

Tier 2 employees consisted of personnel like team general managers and football operations employees. 

Only Tier 1 employees had access to virtually every area of a team's facilities, including practice fields, locker room, training room, meeting room and the dining hall.