Get your coronavirus jabs, and you can burn your masks and seldom worry about distancing.
Dont, and all those 2020 restrictive protocols still apply to you.
Thats essentially what the NFL and its players union told teams and players on Wednesday, according to NFL Networks Tom Pelissero and ESPNs Kevin Seifert.
Medical leaders from the league and NFL Players Association jointly agreed on two drastically different workplace conditions for training camps and pre-season games this July and August.
Teams were informed there will be one lenient, life-as-normal set of conditions for all those fully vaccinated but continuing strict, lockdown-like conditions for all others.
The only exceptions, Pelissero noted, are for those with proven medical or religious exemptions.
When training camps open late next month, fully vaccinated NFL players (or team personnel) will require no daily testing, no mask wearing (even indoors), no physical distancing when among vaccinated individuals, no quarantining even after high-risk exposure to someone infected with COVID-19, no travel restrictions, no capacity limits among the fully vaccinated in a weight room, no ban on eating in a cafeteria with other fully vaccinated individuals, no restrictions on social/media (etc.) opportunities, no ban on a sauna/steam room, and no ban on interacting with vaccinated family or friends during team travel.
In other words, life pretty much as pre-pandemic normal.
But for those players or team personnel (including coaches, trainers, doctors, equipment and facility workers, GMs, owners and scouts) who choose not to become fully vaccinated, the opposite in each of those realms will be true.
These individuals must subject themselves to all those ever-more strict protocols that gradually came into effect for players and team personnel throughout the 2020 season.
That is, those not fully vaccinated must submit to COVID-19 testing seven days a week, wear a mask at a club facility and whenever travelling, must remain physically distant from all others in a club facility, must quarantine after any high-risk exposure to the coronavirus, must comply with a slew of other travel restrictions, must not gather with more than 14 other individuals in a team weight room, must be physically distant in any meal room and may not eat with teammates, must not engage in any in-person social/media (etc.) opportunities, may not use a sauna/steam room, and may not leave a team hotel to eat in restaurants or interact with anyone (including family or friends) outside a teams travel party while travelling.
The punishment for non-compliance is no hand-slap: Potentially a $50,000 fine for the first offence alone.
Furthermore, clubs are permitted to allow fans to attend training-camp practices, but fans must remain more than 20 feet from players and staff at all times, and adhere to distancing on site, the reports said.
Only fully vaccinated media members may conduct in-person interviews or be eligible for access to a press box, field, sidelines or locker room.