NHL relaxing virus protocols for vaccinated playoff teams

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols during the playoffs for teams that reach a threshold for vaccination. The league sent…

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols during the playoffs for teams that reach a threshold for vaccination.

The league sent a memo to teams and players Friday night outlining changes that take hold once 85% or more of the traveling party has been fully vaccinated. For a team with 56 members in its traveling party, 48 would need to be fully vaccinated.

The changes include loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, testing frequency and mask-wearing and quarantine requirements. The league had maintained strict COVID-19 rules since the start of the season and added more protections in February when cases were increasing.

The NHL is the last of the major four North American pro sports leagues to announce plans to relax virus protocols for teams based on vaccination levels. This move is likely to affect the 12 U.S. playoff teams first because vaccinations have lagged for those in Canada.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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