In a memo on Tuesday, the NBA announced that unvaccinated players and staff would be required to test weekly for COVID-19.
The National Basketball Players Association approved the new guideline after it had been developed over several weeks.
“It looks like we’ll be on our normal track in terms of when the season starts, in terms of our protocols around the game, particularly around the health and safety of our players,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I have learned over the last two and a half years not to make any predictions when it comes to COVID, but only to say we’ll be prepared for anything that comes our way.”
Vaccinated individuals will not be forced to submit to testing unless instructed to do so by a team or league physician or “government authority.” Regardless of vaccination status, anyone displaying symptoms is required to report it and get tested. When a member of the individual’s home tests positive, they must also report it.
Facemasks are not necessary but are advised indoors if there is a high virus level in the area.
Currently, most staff and officials in the league are vaccinated, and the league encourages everyone to continue staying up to date with their vaccinations.
According to the memo, certain exemptions will be for the unvaccinated, particularly if a person has “recently recovered” from the virus.