The National Basketball Association announced additional restrictions on players and staff to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 and stem the increasing number of games being postponed over safety concerns.
For the next two weeks, players whose teams are at home are restricted to their residences – except for team-related activities – and may only interact with household and family members, while players on the road are limited to the team hotel except for team activities and emergencies.
Players are required to wear face masks on the bench, in the locker room, during strength and conditioning activities and when traveling with a non-household member, according to releases distributed by the NBA and the players' union.
The announcement comes as six games – including five in three days – have been postponed for various reasons due to either positive tests for COVID-19 or being unable to field the minimum of eight players due to isolation protocols.
The Boston Celtics had its game Sunday against the Miami Heat in Boston postponed as well as its Tuesday game against the Bulls in Chicago and Wednesday night's game against the Orlando Magic in Boston.
Monday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks also was postponed, as was Wednesday's game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards in the nation's capital.
The NBA suspended its previous season in March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and resumed in isolation, or bubble, in July at the Walt Disney World sports complex near Orland. It was completed without spectators Oct. 11.
Reports say the league incurred losses of $1.2 billion from fewer gate receipts, sponsorships, and merchandise.
The NBA began a new abbreviated 72-game season on Dec. 22 with teams in their home arenas.
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