The National Football League is no longer requiring players who haven’t been vaccinated against coronavirus to wear masks during outdoor and indoor practice, after previously mandating that they mask up at all times.
An NFL memo said unvaccinated players can take off their masks during warmup stretches until the end of practice, but once practice is over they need to mask up again, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Unvaccinated players on the bench or sidelines will need to keep their mask on.
Unvaccinated players will also be able to take off their masks to do outdoor interviews as long as social distancing is maintained.
Mask requirements will still be in place for weight sessions and outdoor meetings.
The NFL did not respond to a request from Forbes for comment before the publication of this article.
The NFL has set stringent protocols for its 2021 season, warning teams they will forfeit games that are canceled due to a Covid-19 outbreak among vaccinated players and staff and that can’t be rescheduled. Players must submit to coronavirus testing and wear a tracking monitor that notes interactions between players and coaches and how long they took place. Players who don’t get vaccinated face fines of around $14,000 if they break mask protocols or if they attend bars, concerts or sporting events, which are restricted to prevent players from contracting Covid-19.
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