The NBA revealed its health and safety protocols for the All-Star break in a memo to teams, including protocols for the All-Star game on March 7. The game has not been announced formally by the league as a few prominent players, including LeBron James, expressed dismay at holding an All-Star game amid a pandemic.
All players are required to undergo COVID-19 testing while the league takes a break March 5-10.
Players participating in All-Star events – either the game, dunk contest or 3-point shootout – are required to travel Atlanta on March 6 via private transportation, and participation on Sunday is dependent on returning negative tests on March 6 and March 7.
Players are allowed to bring a limited number of guests who also must comply with protocols that includes testing and private travel, according to the memo. Guests must quarantine at home for seven consecutive days prior to travel to Atlanta – except for essential activities – and return four negative COVID-19 tests leading up to departure on March 6.
While All-Star Weekend is normally a hub of non-stop activity, that won’t be the case this season. The event will be held on a single day instead of three. Players and guests are required to stay at their hotel except to and from the arena, and interactions at the hotel “will be appropriately limited,” the memo said.
All-Star fans, media and player voting ends on Tuesday. Starters will be announced Thursday on TNT, and reserves, who are selected by head coaches, will be announced Feb. 23.
Players not participating in All-Star Weekend may not travel outside of the U.S. but can take a short vacation as long as they stay in private accommodations and not a hotel. It is strongly recommended that players take private travel to those locations.
Large indoor gatherings remain prohibited and only outdoor dining at restaurants is permitted. Players who remain in market may participate in voluntary workouts (group or individual) at the team’s practice facility.
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If a person fails to comply with daily testing requirements, they must return four negative tests before entering the team facility, participating in a team-organized activity or interacting with Tier 1 or Tier 2 individuals.
If the person misses two more days of testing, they will have to return six negative tests before rejoining their team.
When teams return after the break, players will follow gameday testing routine (two PCR tests and one rapid test) even if they don’t have a game that day. They are prohibited from on-court activities or interaction with other Tier 1 or 2 individuals until they return a negative PCR test from a sample collected that day.