The National Football League announced new revised COVID-19 protocols on Saturday, after an outbreak on several teams caused three games to be postponed.
The protocols will be in effect after this weekend's games.
"The intensive protocols implemented last week and the rescheduling of three games were designed to stop the transmission of the virus and play this week's games safely," the league and the union said in a joint statement.
Among the protocols will be a more targeted testing plan, more flexibility to have virtual meetings and a chance for a high-risk player to opt out for the rest of the season. Players have until 2 p.m. Monday to send written notice if they want to opt out. Those players will not be paid and the notice can't be changed.
According to a league memo, unvaccinated players will continue to be tested daily, targeted tests are going to be administered for those players who are vaccinated and asymptomatic with any personnel with symptoms being tested once identified. Only unvaccinated players and anyone experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19 would undergo testing, starting Sunday.
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 18, 2021
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All players may volunteer to be given home testing kits, which will be provided at club expense. Players who use these tests are required to report any positive test results promptly.
Saturday's game between Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns was moved to Monday after the Browns had two dozen players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks against the Los Angeles Rams games have been moved to Tuesday. Kickoff for both games is 7 p.m. ET.
"Our experience with the Omicron variant is fully consistent with this expectation," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Saturday. "While more players and staff are testing positive, roughly two-thirds of those individuals are asymptomatic, most of the remaining individuals have mild symptoms and the virus appears to clear positive individuals more rapidly than was true with the Delta or earlier versions."
One change in the memo sent to league personnel is that starting on Dec. 27, "only personnel designated as Essential Football Personnel shall be permitted at club facility when coaches and players are present. 70-person maximum."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL, NFLPA agree to new COVID-19 protocols as cases rise rapidly