By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- This weekend, the NHL and NHLPA updated their COVID-19 guidelines for fully vaccinated teams and are easing some restrictions ahead of the playoffs.
Several requirements are now being loosened for quarantining, testing and social gatherings for those who are fully vaccinated.
The NHL considers someone to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For instance, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after being in contact with someone who contracts the virus.
Fully vaccinated individuals will also not need to be tested as frequently, and they can meet up indoors or outdoors with up to eight fully vaccinated people not in the traveling party and not be required to mask up or social distance. However, these gatherings cannot involve dining out or drinking in any way.
For fully vaccinated teams, masks still have to be worn in public areas pre-game, in-game and post-game but will not be required for team meetings.
Teams are considered to be fully vaccinated if 85% of the individuals in the party are fully vaccinated.
Pittsburgh Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan said that the Pens were getting their second doses Saturday night and would be prepared for these new guidelines.
"Our team is getting their second vaccination shots tonight and will be well over the 85% threshold that the league has set as far as loosening some of the COVID-19 restrictions," Sullivan said on Saturday.
Everyone involved in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs must follow any local, state or federal restrictions imposed, the NHL says. However, if governmental requirements are less strict than those of the NHL, individuals and teams are expected to follow the league's guidelines. The guidelines may change depending on health experts' input.
The Penguins are heading into the playoffs strong. They beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Saturday for their last regular-season game and won the MassMutual East Division for the first time since 2014.
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