New York and San Francisco Covid Restrictions Could Sideline Unvaccinated NBA Players

Under local Covid-19 restrictions, unvaccinated players for three major NBA teams will be forced to sit out home games this season. In a document acquired by CNBC, the league warned front offices that players on the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Golden State Warriors would have to get vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless they have a valid religious or medical exemption. Visiting players will be exempt from the rule.

New York and San Francisco both have proof of vaccination requirements for anyone over the age of 12 to enter arenas, gyms, bars, and other indoor facilities. Players in New York and San Francisco who do not get vaccinated without a valid exemption are subject to fines or suspension. The requirements will go into effect on Sept. 13 and Oct. 13 in New York and San Francisco, respectively. New York only requires one dose, while San Francisco requires “full vaccination.”

The NBA said that players are not required to be vaccinated, but referees and team and venue workers who interface with players must be immunized against the virus.

According to the Athletic, players who have not been fully vaccinated will undergo regular Covid-19 testing. The NBA has confirmed that fully vaccinated players and team workers will not be subjected to regular testing this season. They also report that if every player on a team is fully vaccinated, the league and the players association do not expect any limits on off-the-court activities (such as attending indoor pubs, clubs, and lounges).


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