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NFL, NFLPA Agree to Updated COVID-19 Protocols for Training Camp, Preseason

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 17, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The NFL and NFL Players Association have issued new COVID-19 guidelines as training camp and preseason games near, with rule changes affecting everyone from players to media to fans. 

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero detailed all of the changes in a Twitter thread on Wednesday.

There are major differences in the guidance based on vaccination status.

Players who are fully vaccinated will not be subject to daily COVID-19 testing and will not need to wear masks, physically distance at the facility or quarantine after a high-risk exposure to COVID-19, while non-vaccinated players will be subject to those rules, among other regulations. 

Team staff, including coaches, can not be designated as Tier 1 or Tier 2 staff if they're not vaccinated and thus cannot work with players in person at training camp unless they have a medical or religious exemption. Fully vaccinated coaches do not need to wear masks. 

Fans will not be allowed to interact with players or staff and must stay 20 feet away from Tier 1 staff at training camp. 

Perhaps the most striking difference comes in the isolation rules. According to the NFL memo, non-vaccinated individuals must quarantine for at least five days after being exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the same rules that were in place in the 2020 season. 

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Those who are vaccinated and asymptomatic after exposure will not be need to quarantine, but will be tested for the virus and be subject to contact tracing. As a general rule, vaccinated individuals will be tested for the virus every two weeks. 

On road trips, players will not be able to travel on chartered accommodations unless they're fully vaccinated, and those who aren't vaccinated cannot see friends or family or use hotel amenities. 

Players who aren't vaccinated will not be able to gather for meetings, practices or other activities outside of the team facility or during travel, according to Pelissero. They will also be banned from public activities including clubs and bars, parties and concerts. Anyone in violation of those rules can be fined up to $50,000 for a first offense. 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Also for unvaccinated individuals during travel: No outside guests in hotel room; no seeing friends or family; no using hotel gym, pool, sauna, etc.; minimal eating/drinking on plane. <br><br>So basically ... fly by yourself and sit in your room until kickoff.

Members of the media must be vaccinated in order to access team facilities (including the press box, field, sidelines, locker room and postgame interview room) and must wear face coverings while they are on site. 

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