FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- New changes were announced for the NFL amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Patriots are less than a month away from their first game, and when traveling time comes, they will have to follow a list of rules to stay safe amid the pandemic.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released new and stricter traveling protocols. Among them, all players and members of a team's traveling party, who are banned from leaving the hotel to eat or dine-in at restaurants open to the public, will now also not be allowed to pick up takeout food either.

NFL's insider, Tom Pelissero, made this announcement on Twitter, saying quote:

"All meals must be provided to players and coaches or staff when traveling with the team. Self-serve buffet-style dining is allowed, as well as room service and any third-party delivery services with contactless delivery. So Uber Eats is ok, avoiding all unnecessary exposure is the main point here."

While the Patriots remain one of the few teams to have no one report on the COVID-19 list. Captain Matthew Slater told Western Mass News it's on the team to stay responsible.

"I feel comfortable with the way things have gone, our staff, the measure that they've put in place, and the NFLPA and the NFL," he said. "I think that they've done a great job, so far, and it's just going to be one of those things we have to monitor. We can't get lax, there's a pandemic going on, and we have to be very intentional the way we move and operate throughout the building."

As for the quarterback competition, Jarrett Stidham threw five interceptions between Wednesday and Thursday's practices. Cam Newton had a stand-out performance on Thursday.

Despite the battle, Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley said he's just happy to be back in football mode.

"I'm just thankful to be looking across the field from somebody, just in general. We go from not having oats and minicamp to being out on the football field. Any quarterback can be out there," Bentley said.

Daily COVID-19 testing continues here for players at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots have one more day of practice on Friday before they have a rest day on Saturday.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.


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