NBA stricter covid protocols for unvaccinated players: daily testing, eating separately, mandatory quarantine...
These new rules will take effect in the upcoming season and will affect those players who are not yet vaccinated the most.
According to a memo that the league handed to teams last week, life for unvaccinated NBA players is about to become very difficult. The new stricter COVID protocols will mostly target NBA players who have yet to get vaccinated, almost pushing them to get the vaccine.
The new protocols have been updated this Thursday, and they incentivize players to get the vaccine. These new rules are not yet final and are subject to ongoing changes amongst conversations and negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association. Nonetheless, the new guidelines have a clear point, vaccinated and unvaccinated players will experience a different off-court treatment in the coming season.
Protocol COVID changes
Testing will become a daily issue for unvaccinated players, with tests being performed during game days and on practice days ,depending on game schedules, tested twice on game day. A different story for vaccinated players, who will not have to do daily testing, and they will only be tested if they have symptoms and or are in direct contact with someone confirmed to have COVID.
A mandatory seven-day quarantine will be upheld for those unvaccinated players who are in contact with a positive COVID case. Those vaccinated will not undergo this seven-day quarantine if they are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.
Flights and meals will have stricter guidelines too. The new rules call for players who are not vaccinated to not be next to those are during team meals and flights. In addition, the franchises will have to provide a section on the plane for players to sit separately and in meals to sit six feet away.
That seems to be the NBA's advice for all of those who are not yet vaccinated. But, unfortunately, the cost of unvaccinated players seems too high for the league, with potential games being canceled or star players missing games due to COVID-positive cases. Thus it makes sense the league wants to incentivize players to vaccinate.