UFC has loosened their COVID-19 protocol surrounding vaccinated talent.
The promotion will no longer require vaccinated fighters or coaches to quarantine or be tested during fight weeks, per a company memo that was recently reported on by Nolan King of MMA Junkie.
A requirement is still in place for vaccinated fighters and coaches to take a COVID-19 test before traveling to an event. Unvaccinated talent is still expected to obey protocol that asks for them to quarantine during fight week and be tested twice during that time.
While the change is set to fully take place during this upcoming fight week, the promotion reportedly began using the protocol at last weekend’s “Fight Night” event in Las Vegas as well.
The change opens up the possibility for COVID-19 infections to get into events. The recent Omicron variant of COVID-19 has caused skyrocketing cases in the U.S., in part due to how it has been able to infect vaccinated individuals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in December that they expect that people with the Omicron variant “can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
On Tuesday, the U.S. reported a seven-day average of 762,000 new COVID-19 cases a day.