NYC Is Lifting Vaxx Mandate, But Kyrie Irving Still Can't Play Home Games

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New York City is set to end its indoor Covid-19 vaccine mandate, but the move won't get Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving off the bench at home games. That's because NYC will continue its workplace vaccine requirements, meaning Irving's unvaccinated status won't fly at Barclays –– at least not on the court.

The 29-year-old will be able to attend the game as a spectator under the new policy, though.

On Sunday (February 27), NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to remove the proof of vaccine requirement for most indoor activities including dining, working out in gyms, and other forms of entertainment for New Yorkers over the age of five starting on March 7.

The move comes after the number of Covid-19 cases comes down from a winter surge fueled by the Omicron variant. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced over the weekend that students won't be required to wear masks in schools as part of the state's plan to ease Covid-19 restrictions.

However, NYC is requiring all workers who work in-person or interact with the public to show proof of at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

"Businesses may not allow unvaccinated workers to come to their workplace," the city's website says. But there's an exemption for non-NYC resident entertainers and professional athletes –– which means unvaccinated players on other teams can play at Barclays.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the state and city's rule "doesn't quite make sense to me."

"This law in New York, the oddity of it to me is that it only applies home players," Silver said on ESPN's Get Up. "I think if ultimately that rule is about protecting people who are in the arena, it just doesn't quite make sense to me that an away player who is unvaccinated can play in Barclays but the home players can't. To me that's a reason they should take a look at the ordinance."

According to Silver, an estimated 97% to 98% of NBA players are vaccinated. So far this season, Irving has played in 15 away games, averaging 25.1 points per game, CNN reported.

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