State releases updated COVID-19 safety guidelines for youth, adult amateur sports

BOSTON — State officials have announced new, updated guidelines for COVID-19 safety in youth and adult amateur sports.

The MA Energy and Environment Affairs Office released on Thursday a revision to the recently released Step 2, Phase 3 guidances on workplace safety and reopening standards for businesses and other entities providing youth and adult amateur sports activities.

Effective immediate, the following updates will be in place:

  • New exemption for masks: Low-risk sports will no longer be required to wear masks while actively playing so as long as participants stay at least 14 feet from each other (such as singles tennis, when XC runners are more than 14 feet apart, a solo gymnastics performance).
  • No out-of-state teams allowed to play at Mass. facilities: No games against an out-of-state team can take place in any Massachusetts facility.
  • Out-of-state border athletes or coaches are subject to Gov. Baker’s travel order: Any individual athlete from a border state that plays on a Massachusetts-based team primarily made up of MA athletes will be subject to the travel order with no exceptions. This means that any player who comes into the state from a non-low risk state has to test or quarantine every time the player enters. While the travel order has an exception for “commuting to a place of work” there is no exception tied to volunteer sports activities.
  • Students from another state going to school in Massachusetts can participate in school-affiliated sports in MA and won’t be subject to the travel order: This only applies to school-related athletics - those students are not exempt to play in a private league, for example.
  • MA-based teams or MA-based athletes and coached that travel out of state must comply with the travel order: If they don’t comply, the individual or the team will risk suspension of play/games. The state stressted they highly discourage out-of-state travel. That means that if a MA team, player or coach travels, even if to a low-risk state, they will have to either test negative for coronavirus or quarantine when they come back before going back to work or school. All MA teams must fully comply with the travel order: Activity organizers will ensure all players and coaches comply with the travel order - if they fail to do so, they risk suspension of play/games.

You can find out more on the updated EEA guidelines, the most up-to date Massachusetts travel order (which is subject to change every week) and the updated Mass. DPH guidance.

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