NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 teams on Wednesday providing protocols for how club facilities can reopen. Club facilities have been closed to all personnel since late March, and have been advised to put protocols in place by May 15th for reopening facilities.
Not all facilities are in states where a May 15th re-opening could happen. Goodell wrote that re-openings would require consent from state government officials and come as state and local governments ease restrictions currently in place.
According to multiple reports, the first phase of this program would allow for non-player staff returning, but would include no more than 50 percent of said staff, up to a total of 75 per day. The only players permitted to return would be those already rehabilitating injuries prior to the closures. Players have still been allowed to use team facilities for therapy and rehab.
According to ESPN, re-opening will require consent from state and local governments and that teams do the following:
- Acquire enough cleaning and other supplies.
- Create an infection-response team that includes doctors and team athletic trainers.
- Designate an infection control officer (ICO) to be the first point of contact for any employee who displays coronavirus symptoms.
- Provide coronavirus safety and hygiene training to all employees who will return to the facility.
- Face coverings and physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be required for all employees.
The NFL is also working with the NFL Players Association to figure out the next steps for players returning to facilities. Teams are currently operating virtual offseason workout programs, which includes teams being allowed to send workout equipment to players or reimburse them for purchases of equipment. The first phase of the three-phase offseason program is scheduled to conclude on May 15th. Phase 2 can start as early as May 18th.