Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf is lifting COVID-19 restrictions on pro sports teams in the Keystone State, according to an official announcement.
The Wolf Administration has worked with Pennsylvania’s professional sports teams to develop guidance that allows for competition to resume.
Professional sports, defined as any sporting event at which the participants are paid by a league or team, or at which individuals or teams receive prizes or purse, are allowed to practice or play in the yellow and green phases of reopening without on-site or venue spectators if the team (or league on behalf of the team) has developed a COVID-19 safety plan.
Such a plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and include, among other requirements, testing or screening and monitoring of all on-venue players and personnel. Also, no fans or spectators may be permitted on interior or exterior venue property. Professional sports organizations are encouraged to contact the Wolf Administration to share their reopening plans and get them approved by the Department of Health.
Philadelphia is still in the red phase but all PA counties are expected to at least be in the yellow phase by next week on Friday, June 5. Once Philly goes yellow, the Eagles will be allowed to practice in some capacity.
Of course, it’s not actually that cut and dry. The NFL has permitted teams to reopen their facilities to some extent but coaches and players aren’t really able to report just yet. The league is making an effort to maintain competitive balance by preventing teams from practicing until every team is allowed to do so.
A recent report indicates that head coaches could return to team facilities next week before some kind of minicamps open in mid-to-late June. It remains to be seen if that plan will actually come to fruition.
While the status of spring practices are up in the air, it looks like things are trending towards Eagles training camp still beginning in late July. Hopefully that’s the case.