All unvaccinated NBA players and staff will be tested weekly for COVID-19 the league informed teams Tuesday.
There will be exceptions, such as a person who has “recently recovered” from COVID, but all others will be required to be vaccinated unless “directed by their team physician or a league physician or government authority,” the league said.
The policy was constructed over the past few weeks and was approved by the National Basketball Players Association.
No unvaccinated players will be allowed to play in Toronto against the Raptors.
“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,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the league’s Board of Governors meeting in mid-July. “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.”
The NBA encourages everyone to stay up-to-date with their vaccination status and get boosters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Players and team personnel will be required to get tested if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and will be required to report those symptoms and test results.
They will also be required to report if a family or household member contracts COVID.
Most players and staff in the league were vaccinated last season, but there were some holdouts.
Among those was the Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving, who ended up playing only 29 games last season due to his COVID-19 anti-vax stance.
The results were disastrous for the Nets, who were never able to recover and ended up losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, 4-0.
After a tumultuous offseason, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will both be back to try to get the Nets to an NBA Finals.