NFL won’t require vaccine for players, essentially mandates for coaches

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FILE – Signs that stress fans to wear a face mask are seen before an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, file photo. Anyone visiting Tampa’s popular outdoor destinations for the Super Bowl will be required to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, saying masks must be worn outside while downtown, in neighborhoods around Raymond James Stadium — where the Super Bowl will be held — and in other tourist hotspots.(AP Photo/Octavio Jones, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The National Football League will not require players to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, but essentially mandates it for coaches, according to a memo released by the NFL Network.

The memo states players are encouraged to receive the vaccine and to educate themselves on it, but are not required to get it.

However, coaches will have to be vaccinated if they want to be anywhere close to their team.

The memo states that an employee who refuses a COVID-19 vaccination without “bona fide medical or religious ground” will be barred from Tier 1 or Tier 2 status. In 2020, those in Tier 1 could work directly with players and were required to get daily testing. Without a legit reason for not receiving the vaccine, those who don’t get it will have limited access.

The decision to not require players to get vaccinated was decided upon by the NFL and NFLPA. The memo also directs clubs to set up vaccination sites for staff, players and eligible family members.

In terms of how the league keeps track of vaccinated individuals, teams must report the weekly number of employees who are vaccinated. In addition, the conversation regarding relaxed protocols with PPE, travel, testing, etc. are continuing to be discussed.

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