The NHL regular season is coming to a close, but for teams heading into the postseason there will be fewer COVID restrictions to deal with for teams deemed “fully vaccinated.”
According to Scott Burnside of The Athletic, the NHL sent a memo to teams on Friday the NHL sent a memo to teams on Friday detailing the relaxed protocols and what teams will need to do to be considered fully vaccinated.
According to the league, a team will be considered fully vaccinated when 85% of the team’s traveling party has gone through the full vaccination process, including the two-week period following the second vaccination shot. The league will also be requiring fewer COVID tests, no quarantine period following possible exposure or commercial air travel, and allowing those fully vaccinated to gather with other fully vaccinated people in groups up to eight people with requiring masks or social distancing.
These relaxed protocols will begin when the Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin, May 15th. With the uncertainty surrounding everything regarding COVID-19, the new protocols could be revoked or modified if there are changes in how the virus affects teams in the postseason. Also, with the vaccination process being different in Canada than in the United States, if/when teams will require cross-border travel, the relaxed protocols may change at that time as well.
I’m sure as more of the world opens up, the more the players will be able to feel like they are living normal lives again. We saw a few weeks ago Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner give a passionate speechRobin Lehner give a passionate speech about the NHL and their current protocols regarding players who are vaccinated. Hopefully the relaxed restrictions are able to stick with the league throughout the postseason as a sign that things are going on the right direction in the fight against COVID and a sign that the vaccination process is working and worth it.