The NFL informed clubs Tuesday that team employees who refuse a COVID-19 vaccine will not have full access to the team facility or be able to work directly with players (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Only employees with “bona fide medical or religious ground” will be considered exempt from the rule. Otherwise, non-vaccinated employees will not be granted Tier 1 or Tier 2 status.
The full memo from the league office outlines additional protocols for clubs. For instance, teams will be required to report their number of vaccinated employees on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, the league is still in talks with the NFLPA to determine the thresholds and milestones at which protocols on testing, PPE and travel can be relaxed.
Throughout the offseason, commissioner Roger Goodell has said that the league will take a gradual approach as things return to normal. In addition to urging as many people as possible to get the vaccine, Goodell indicated that he’ll keep other safeguards in place.
“Virtual meetings have now become standard in the NFL; we are not going to have as much (in-person) meetings when we get back,” Goodell said in March. “I think technology is something we have embraced and will make us better.”