NFL Changes COVID-19 Policies Amid Omicron Surge

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to change the league’s COVID-19 policies amid a spike in cases and the rise of the omicron variant.

Below are highlights of the changes:

  • All players and staff must wear masks when indoors at the club facility regardless of vaccination status

  • All meetings must be held outdoors or in a practice bubble with social distancing

  • No more than 15 players may work out in a single weight room at one time

  • Players will no longer be permitted to eat together

  • Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 staff and players will be prohibited from public appearances or team – or player-organized charity events and gathering in groups of more than three outside the facility

The complete memo can be found here.

The protocols are similar to those instituted in 2020. A notable change is how the league will handle the quarantine status of vaccinated players and staffers.

In a break from previous protocols, players and staffers who are vaccinated and asymptomatic can return without a ten-day quarantine if they pass specific markers.

The player or staff must take two PCR tests, two MESA tests, or one PCR and one MESA test concurrently and produce a negative test result or a Cycle Threshold over 35.

The change in quarantine protocol is notable because the majority of the players and staffers that have tested positive this week are vaccinated and asymptomatic.

The league is also mandating booster shots for certain tier staffers. Players are not required to get a booster but are encouraged to do so.