NFL to restrict employees who refuse COVID-19 vaccine without ‘bona fide’ grounds

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FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, the NFL logo is displayed on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL revealed Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners, and the Chicago Bears said they had nine false positives. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

(WTRF) — The NFL informed teams that any employee who refuses a COVID-19 vaccination without “bona fide medical or religious ground” will be barred access within the team facilities and won’t work directly with players.

“In light of expanded vaccine eligibility, it is appropriate now to take further steps to educate about and promote vaccine availability and acceptance within the NFL,” the league said in a statement.

The employees will be barred from Tier 1 or Tier 2 status.  The tiers are designed to limit access to restricted areas such as the practice and stadium fields, sidelines, locker rooms and training rooms to essential personnel only.

Teams must assign tiers to all their employees, and workers must wear a tiered photograph credential to spell out their access.

The NFL also said football clubs should schedule and participate in vaccine information sessions for players, families and staff. The teams were also instructed to use their facility as a vaccination site.

“The overwhelming consensus among medical and public health experts is that the most effective way for someone to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19 — and the risk of infecting others — is to be vaccinated,” the league said. “Our medical team has worked closely with the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) medical advisors to develop comprehensive educational material that reinforces this conclusion and addresses the safety and effectiveness of available vaccines.”

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