Aug 27, 2021 - Health

NBA staff must be vaccinated if around players, referees

Picture of crowd at NBA game

Fully vaccinated fans are seen in the vaccinated section of the stadium during the NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on May 19. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The NBA said Friday that all personnel who will be in close proximity to players and referees must be fully vaccinated, according to a company memo shared with Axios.

State of play: This includes anyone who travels with teams, those who are around the bench areas and those who have access to the locker rooms. Team staff must be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

  • Game day personnel are required to be fully vaccinated no later than the date of their team's first preseason home game, which take place in early October, per AP, who first reported the story.
  • The NBA said their definition of "fully vaccinated" is subject to change: "[T]he NBA may update this definition in the future to reflect any new CDC and FDA guidance, such as expected guidance related to booster shots."

Yes, but: Exceptions will be given to unionized workers who cannot be forced to get vaccinated, and those who have religious or medical reasons that prevent them from getting vaccinated.

  • Those not fully vaccinated "will be prohibited from having in-person interaction with, or being within 15 feet of, any player or referee." They will also be required to wear masks whenever they are in team facilities.
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