All NBA team staff members who will be in close proximity to players and referees will need to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus this season, the league told its clubs in a memo on Friday.
The requirement basically covers anyone who will be traveling with teams, around the benches or having access to a changing room, as well as those who will be working at the scorers table.
The league also said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, that the policy could be updated when authorities issue guidelines about additional doses of a vaccine.
Team members should be fully vaccinated before October 1. Matchday staff will need to be at the time of a team’s first home preparatory game, so at the beginning of October.
Among the groups needing to be vaccinated: coaches, medical and performance personnel, equipment personnel, management, team and arena safety personnel, media relations people , social media and arena operations, among others.
Exemptions will be granted for unionized workers who cannot be forced to be vaccinated, and for those who have medical, religious or documented reasons.
People not fully vaccinated “will not be able to interact with a player or referee or be within 15 feet of him or her,” said the NBA.
These people will also not be able to travel with teams.
When they are in club facilities, they must wear a mask at all times.
Training camps will begin at the end of September. The pre-season matches will begin in early October, and the regular season on October 19.