FRIDAY, March 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The National Football League COVID-19 protocols will be lifted immediately under a deal reached between the league and its players association. The agreement makes the NFL one of the first major sports leagues to take such action, CBS News reported.

The decision is based on “encouraging trends regarding the prevalence and severity of COVID-19, the evolving guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, changes to state law, and the counsel of our respective experts,” according to the memo sent to all NFL teams and staff and obtained by CBS News.

The NFL said it will no longer mandate testing, mask use, COVID-19 signage, isolation, or room capacity limits. Players who test positive will still have to notify their teams, but will only be required to isolate for the five days recommended by the CDC. Teams must still maintain a space in their facilities where players can go if they report symptoms and need a COVID-19 test, CBS News reported.

The NFL lifting of COVID-19 protocols comes as cases and hospitalizations continue to decline. But the NFL memo stated: “Should there be a reason to reimpose aspects of the protocols or to take other measures, we will work closely with clubs, the NFLPA and our respective experts, and local, state and federal public health officials to continue to safeguard the health of the NFL.”

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