Following the CDC news that fully vaccinated individuals don’t need to wear masks in almost all cases, the NFL has announced players, coaches, and staff who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, indoor or outdoor, a policy that will become effective immediately.
The NFL announced the news in a memo moments ago. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared the news.
New guidance from the NFL for fully vaccinated players and masks: pic.twitter.com/hucm05CRTy
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 14, 2021
The memo clarifies the language about what constitutes full vaccination.
“An individual considered “fully vaccinated” if 14 days have passed since the individual received his or her last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
The memo goes on to note those who have not met that mark must continue wearing masks. This development may encourage unvaccinated players to receive their shot so they no longer have to wear their mask.
The NFL does point out teams should review and follow their state and local guidelines, “even if they are more restrictive.” Pennsylvania currently has a mask mandate that is set to continue until 70% of PA citizens have been fully vaccinated. But that announcement came before the CDC’s news yesterday and in light of that information, could be subject to change.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, for example, are no longer requiring fans to wear masks to ballgames for those who have been vaccinated.
— Pirates (@Pirates) May 14, 2021
Even before yesterday’s news, Pennsylvania was set to drop all COVID restrictions – except for masks – by the end of the month. Meaning, indoor and outdoor events could be held at 100% capacity. It’s been well over a year, but this news is signaling normalcy for sports and society in general. The 2021 NFL season is shaping up to be very close to what it was pre-pandemic.