It appears the NFL just declared the pandemic over ... 'cause the league and the players association have put an end to all of their COVID-19 protocols, including testing, mask-wearing, and contact tracing.
The NFL and NFLPA sent a joint memorandum to all 32 organizations announcing the decision ... citing "encouraging trends regarding the prevalence of COVID-19."
Here’s the memo that just went to clubs on the NFL and NFLPA suspending all COVID-19 protocols. No more masks, tracking devices, mandatory surveillance testing or capacity limits, unless required by state and local law. pic.twitter.com/TIdvfCWr9m
The league and PA say they will no longer conduct mandatory tests, regardless of whether a player is vaccinated or not.
They've also done away with the high-tech tracker -- called a Kinexon device -- that players were required to wear at all times, which was used to alert officials of any close contacts with infected individuals.
There's more. Teams can now take down all the signage instructing players to socially distance, wear masks, etc.
That's because masks ... they're no longer required, either.
Now, it's worth noting that state and local laws supersede the NFL's rules ... so, if you live in a city or state that still requires the masks, the new guidelines don't necessarily apply.
When it came to the virus, the NFL was very strict. There were several high-profile clashes between the league and a few top players including Aaron Rodgers, Cole Beasley, and Antonio Brown.
Rodgers was fined for allegedly misleading team and league officials on his vax status. Beasley was hit with $100K+ in fines for multiple COVID-19 protocol violations. Brown was suspended 3 games for providing a fake vaccination card.
But, after 2 seasons of stringent COVID-19 restrictions, barring something very bad, normal is back ... at least at the football stadium on Sunday.