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NFL, NFLPA agree to suspend COVID-19 protocols

The locker rooms will be open again in 2022

Rams v 49ers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Thursday that they had agreed to end the COVID-19 protocols initially put in place nearly two years ago. The protocols had been modified throughout the pandemic, but it appears they’ve come to an end.

Here’s a portion of the league’s statement:

“Based on current encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, the evolving guidance from the CDC, changes to state law, and the counsel of our respective experts, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to suspend all aspects of the joint COVID-19 Protocols, effective immediately.”

The NFL added that teams still must stay compliant with local and stay law if they were more restrictive.

The media is happy as this means more access to the players now that the locker rooms will be open. Speaking of, players and staff who were already only being tested when they were symptomatic will no longer be tracked in the facility by wrist monitors.

During the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Rams, countless images of maskless fans emerged, which spurred questions about whether or not mask mandates were enforced.

Now that the season has ended, we’ve already seen teams like the Buffalo Bills announce that vaccine and mask requirements would be lifted at home games for fans in attendance.

California announced this past Monday that the mask mandate would end on March 12. — although the San Francisco school districts have decided to continue mask mandates. A lot can change between now and the start of the season. We will continue to update as the league continues to modify its protocols.