Sep 28, 2021 - Sports

Reports: NBA outlines COVID protocols plan for 2021-22 season

Photo: Shen Chunchen/VCG via Getty Images

The NBA released its tentative health and safety protocols for next season to teams on Tuesday, detailing how different it could be for vaccinated and unvaccinated players, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: Roughly 90% of NBA players are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per an earlier statement from National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). They would have fewer restrictions under the NBA's plan, but unvaccinated players would have to undergo daily testing including before games, per ESPN.

The big picture: The NBA had previously proposed a coronavirus vaccine mandate for players, but the NBPA rejected the mandate, according to NBA spokesperson Mike Bass.

Details: Under the new plan, unvaccinated players would be under many of the same restrictions they faced last season before the COVID-19 vaccine was available.

  • They would also not be allowed to eat with their vaccinated teammates and must have lockers six feet from any vaccinated player or staff member, according to AP.
  • Unvaccinated players would also not be allowed to go to any restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues or large indoor gatherings.
  • Fully vaccinated players would not have to quarantine if they're a close contact, unless there were "unusual circumstances," though they would usually have to go through daily rapid testing for the next seven days.

What's next: The protocols are subject to ongoing talks with the NBPA, and some policies still need to be determined, according to ESPN.

  • The NBA did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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