The National Football League moved forward with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday by allowing fully vaccinated individuals participating in upcoming draft war rooms to remain maskless if all others in the room are vaccinated as well.
The relaxed measures including minimal distancing will only apply to those with proof of vaccination. The league will still limit capacity sizes in rooms, allowing for up to 10 fully vaccinated members who will not need to follow strict virus protocols and up to 20 if some are unvaccinated and all continue stricter rules.
Last year saw the first completely virtual NFL draft ever, but for the start of the 2021 season, the league notified the 32 teams of the in-person event. The new update from NFL officials details the changes to the guidelines and procedures, which NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport shared via Twitter.
"If and only if all individuals in the Draft room are fully vaccinated … then masks will not be required; physical distancing measures will be relaxed; and eating and drinking will be permissible," the outline reads.
However, it remains unclear how they intend to prove individuals' vaccination records, with concerns related to HIPAA standards protecting confidentiality of patient health records. The league has not yet stated what their plans are for fans, employees and players in the upcoming season with regards to capacity limits and vaccination requirements.