NFL Issues Strict New COVID-19 Protocols In Response To Omicron Variant

New protocols include masking and outdoor meetings


December 16, 2021

The NFL is responding to the omicron variant of COVID-19 with a host of new measures.

Amid a host of infections among NFL players, the league announced it revised COVID-19 protocols Thursday. Included among the new rules are mandatory masking, remote or outdoor meetings and the elimination of in-person meals and public appearances.

?”Throughout the pandemic we have continuously evolved our protocols to meet our goal of advancing the safety of the players, coaches and staff,” the NFL said in a statement. “The changes we are making today aim to address the increase in cases and the advent of the Omicron variant. Effective immediately, all clubs will implement preventative measures that have proven effective: masking regardless of vaccination status, remote or outdoor meetings, eliminating in-person meals, and no outside visitors while on team travel.

“We will continue to strongly encourage booster shots as the most effective protection. Finally, and based on expert advice, we will adjust the return-to-participation requirements for those who have recovered from COVID-19. All of these changes are grounded in our data and science-backed approach, with safety our number-one goal for the entire NFL community.”

More than 100 NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, prompting the league to modify its COVID-19 regulations.

Chances are other North American sports leagues will follow suit, as the omicron variant spreads globally.

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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