NEW YORK – Major League Baseball drops regular COVID-19 tests for all but symptomatic individuals, while retaining the ability to move games if the public health situation in an area worsens.
MLB and the players’ association completed their 2022 COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, easing pandemic restrictions five days after reaching a collective agreement. Some problems on the track have not yet been addressed, such as whether to continue the pandemic that requires “ghost runners” at second base in extra innings.
“MLB reserves the right during the championship season to move clubs to neutral venues, spring training grounds or other clubs’ home football pitches and / or to reschedule matches included in the 2022 championship season program, if necessary, for health / safety reasons, to comply with state restrictions or to complete the schedule, “the 18-page minutes state.
“With the consent of MLBPA (which shall not be unreasonably withheld), MLB also has the right to conduct part or all of the 2022 offseason in neutral venues (including other clubs’ home courts) or to delay the start of the offseason to reschedule championship matches. after the end of the championship season. “
The Protocols state that “MLB intends to postpone matches only if necessary to protect the health and safety of the club’s staff, players and referees. Matches will not be postponed for competitive reasons provided the club has a sufficient number of players to available to replace those players on the active list who are not available to play due to COVID-19. “
The parties agreed that “with regard to outdoor matches postponed due to COVID-19 during the first 30 days of the championship season, MLB and the clubs will, where practicable, avoid reorganizing such matches as a split. double head before 30 April. “
The protocols are less strict than in the last two seasons.
Restrictions, such as wearing face masks in dugouts, were eased during the 2021 season as a team reached 85% vaccination among players, coaches and other staff with access to the pitch and clubhouse.
The requirement for tracking bracelets used last year has been omitted.
Players will still be tested on admission in 2022, but will then only be tested when showing or reporting symptoms.
Anyone placed on the COVID-19 injury list does not count in a team’s active list. If a player tests positive while designated for award, the designation must be revoked and he will go on COVID-19 IL.
Uniformed personnel “are not required to wear face-to-face clothing while on the field or in dugouts and bullpens,” the minutes state. The same goes for “team charters, trains, buses, etc.”
For indoor percussion tunnels, clubhouses, weight rooms, and other indoor areas, players and uniformed personnel must “wear approved face masks when in those areas, if required by applicable laws or regulations in that jurisdiction.”
Any mask worn “may not contain any unnecessary commercialization.”
If a team “experiences a significant number of COVID-19 IL rankings” or limited list rankings due to inability to enter Canada over vaccination status, and the commissioner states, “it implies a club’s ability to field a competitive team”, then the team can “add substitutes to its active list in the major league temporarily.” Added players who are then sent back to the minors will not be considered an optional or direct allotment.
Each team can have up to five players as a taxi team, including a catcher.
The player’s children are allowed on the court at times designated by the teams.
Vaccinated media members gain access to clubhouses, for the first time for journalists in locker rooms since the spring training 2020.