Toronto “Maple Leafs” arēna | Foto: Toronto “Maple Leafs”
The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) agreed on Wednesday to change the Covid-19 protocol for vaccinated players and staff, shortening the isolation period for those infected with Covid-19. The isolation period is shortened from 10 to five days if the infected meet certain conditions.
Those infected have no symptoms or are gone, have no fever, in which case players may return to the team with one or two negative test results (depending on the type of test) or a positive laboratory PCR test. Players will also need the medical permission of their team doctor and will only be allowed to leave the isolation after five days if it complies with local national health regulations.
People with a fever should isolate themselves until the fever goes away. The day of a positive Covid-19 test is not included in the five-day isolation period. Players may retake out of isolation on or after the fourth day. At the end of the isolation, players must wear a mask for five days, except during games and training. All other aspects of the protocol remain valid, including a heart test. The National Basketball Association (NBA) made similar changes earlier this week to reduce isolation periods for players who tested positive.
The NHL noted that health and safety regulations may be more stringent in certain jurisdictions than the Covid-19 protocol they created. For example, the Canadian government has imposed stricter restrictions on the pandemic than the United States, and the league has already postponed nine Canadian games due to limited attendance at some cities.
The NHL has faced a mass relocation in recent weeks as the number of Covid cases rises across North America. On December 28, the league returned from the Christmas holiday break, which was created to reduce the spread of Covid-19.