The NBA has introduced more restrictive health and safety protocols set to take effect immediately, the league and the NBPA announced Monday.
An increase in COVID-19 cases paired with a spike in players forced to enter quarantine and the cancellation of five games has prompted revisions to the league's protocols.
For at least the next two weeks, players and staff are required to stay home. Exceptions are attending team activities, exercising outside, leaving their residence for essential matters, or extraordinary circumstances.
When not with the team, players and staff can only interact with members of their respective households, family, or household staff.
While on the road, players and staff are no longer permitted to host guests in their hotel rooms, and they're required to stay in the hotel except for team activities or emergencies.
Additionally, teams are required to introduce seating outlines for flights and on the bench during games that plan for more space than previous models. Physical therapy sessions are also required to take place in large rooms and no less than 12 feet away from the next nearest station.
In terms of team activities, all pregame meetings taking place in locker rooms must last no longer than 10 minutes for the next two weeks, and everyone present is expected to wear a mask and stand no closer than six feet from the nearest person.
On game day, players aren't permitted to arrive at the arena more than three hours before tipoff. Extended socialization before and after games should be avoided, with spacing of six-plus feet expected as much as possible. And physical interaction should be limited to elbows and fist bumps.
During games, "cool down chairs" situated no less than 12 feet away from the bench will be introduced for players who just left the court, when wearing a mask isn't mandated. Once a player has "cooled down," he's expected to return to the bench sporting a mask. Otherwise, wearing a mask is required.
All members of teams with a player who tested positive or a high-risk staff member are now required to undergo five consecutive days of lab-based testing, twice per day. Those provisions are in addition to the daily point-of-care testing that previous health and safety protocols mandated.