NBA players who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will have to comply with a long list of restrictions to take part in the upcoming season, according to US reports.
Vaccination is not mandatory but 90 per cent of players already are, NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts told Yahoo Sports in July.
ESPN said that, as per the NBA’s tentative health and safety protocols released to teams on Tuesday, vaccinated players will only be tested if they show symptoms or are a close contact of a positive case.
Unvaccinated players will have to undergo daily testing prior to entering a team facility, participating in team-organized activities, or interacting with other players and coaches.
Among the other restrictions, unvaccinated players will not be allowed to dine in the same room as other players, and must be given a locker as distant as possible from other players.
Unvaccinated players will also have to remain at their residence, or the team hotel during road trips, outside game time except for team and essential activities such as taking children to school or buying groceries.
They will also have to quarantine for seven days if they are a close contact while vaccinated players will only have to do so in “unusual circumstances”.
The report said face masks were mandatory for all players for the 2021-2022 season, which starts on Oct. 19.
Four-time NBA champion LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers said he was initially “very sceptical” about the vaccine but decided to take it after doing his research.
“I don’t talk about other people and what they should do,” James said. “I don’t think I personally should get involved in what other people do for their bodies and livelihoods.
“I know that I was very sceptical about it but after doing my own research I felt like it was best suited for me and my family and my friends.”