The NBA will restrict unvaccinated player travel
The league released a memo advising players that they will not be permitted to reenter the United States should they cross it's border with Canada.
As pressure grows on institutions nation wide to implement stricter policies regarding the pandemic, the NBA is doing just that.
Canada made a move, The NBA followed
According to reports on Tuesday, any unvaccinated NBA player with temporary visa status who leaves the country will not be permitted to reenter the United States. The news comes on the back of an announcement made by the Government of Canada on November 19th, which stated that the country would be closing its border to unvaccinated amateur and professional athletes as of January 15th 2022.
Canada's new law mandates that all visitors entering the country must be vaccinated. According to the law, there are criteria for limited exceptions, however, the individual in question would be required to quarantine there for 14 days. The NBA of course has one Canadian franchise, the Toronto Raptors, however, it is understood that the Raptors have a fully vaccinated roster and traveling party. The league didn't stop there either, extending their regulations to travel during NBA All-Star weekend. Again should an unvaccinated player travel outside of the United States, they won't be permitted to reenter.
The NBA wants a list
According to the memo, the league has also requested that all teams provide a list of the players on roster who are not vaccinated by Friday 10th of December. In addition, the league stated that as of December 17th, players who have not received a booster covid-19 dose will be subjected to game day testing. This also extends to team personnel as they will no longer be permitted to interact with players, travel with the team or maintain Tier 1 clearance, should they not be have their booster shot administered by December 17th. To date the NBA has maintained that 97% of its players are vaccinated and it has also been reported that 60% have received booster shots.
Why did the NBA get tougher on covid-19
As the number of positive cases across the country continues to rise, along with the rate of covid-19 community transmission, the NBA has seemingly made a move in a moment when it felt it was absolutely necessary. In fact many of the regions in which franchises are located have been named by by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to be "high" or "substantial" in relation to the threat of infection.
To add further context, the league has most definitely witnessed an increased positivity rate among vaccinated players, team staff and family members recently, which further reflects the national trend. In light of the growing problem the league has now taken the position with players and staff alike that receiving a booster shot should now be a priority.