The National Football League (NFL) and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have agreed to suspend all Covid-19 protocols, effective immediately, according to a league-wide memo sent Thursday.
The NFL will no longer conduct mandatory surveillance testing of any players or staff, regardless of vaccination status, the league said in the memo obtained by CNN. Masks are also no longer required around the team facility, regardless of vaccination status. At one point during the Omicron surge, fully vaccinated individuals were required to test weekly and unvaccinated individuals daily.
Both the NFL and NFLPA cited “encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of Covid-19” and evolving guidance from the CDC in the memo.
“We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of the players, coaches and staff, as we have throughout the pandemic,” the NFL said. “Should there be a reason to reimpose aspects of the Protocols or to take other measures, we will work closely with clubs, the NFLPA and our respective experts, and local, state and federal public health officials to continue to safeguard the health of the NFL community.”
The NFLPA confirmed the agreement to CNN but did not provide a comment.
According to the memo, individuals are still asked to monitor for any Covid-19 symptoms daily. Anyone with symptoms must report it to the team and test negative before entering the facility. Any individual that tests positive, must isolate for at least five days after their test. Testing should only occur when “clinically indicated or at the direction of the Club physician.”
The league added that teams must remain “in compliance with state and local law and are free to continue reasonable measures to protect their staff and players.”
On December 15, the league stated nearly 95% of its players were fully vaccinated along with “100%” of other NFL personnel.
The NFL scouting combine is currently in progress from Indianapolis, Indiana, and runs through March 7.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Nevada.