TORONTO — The Blue Jays have been denied approval by the Canadian authorities to play in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino introduced in an announcement Saturday the federal authorities had denied the request, confirming what an official conversant in the matter had informed The Related Press earlier. The official spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk forward of the announcement.
The staff had been given clearance by metropolis and provincial governments to play regular-season video games at Rogers Centre and was awaiting approval from Canada’s federal authorities.
“Not like preseason coaching, common season video games would require repeated cross-border journey of Blue Jays gamers and workers, in addition to opponent groups into and out of Canada. Of explicit concern, the Toronto Blue Jays could be required to play in areas the place the chance of virus transmission stays excessive,” Mendicino stated.
“Primarily based on the best-available public well being recommendation, we’ve got concluded the cross-border journey required for MLB common season play wouldn’t adequately shield Canadians’ well being and security. In consequence, Canada is not going to be issuing a Nationwide Curiosity Exemption for the MLB’s common season right now.”
The Blue Jays had been knowledgeable by way of a cellphone name. The staff’s alternate website for residence video games is its coaching facility in Dunedin, Florida, one of many states hardest-hit by the virus. Gamers have stated they most well-liked to play in Toronto.
“Now we have shared this information with the Blue Jays group. We stay open to contemplating future restart plans for the postseason ought to the chance of virus transmission diminish. We want the Blue Jays the most effective of luck as they begin the common season,” Mendicino stated.
MLB wanted an exemption to a requirement that anybody coming into Canada for nonessential causes should self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border stays closed to nonessential journey till not less than Aug. 21.
COVID-19 instances are surging within the U.S., whereas Canada has flattened the epidemic curve.
The NHL has acquired an exemption for its restart to the season, however that was a far easier case as a result of the video games are restricted to 2 hubs — Edmonton and Toronto.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start out the season July 24 at Tampa Bay. Their residence opener was set for 5 days later towards Washington.
The Blue Jays acquired an exemption for summer time camp, throughout which the gamers agreed to isolate within the lodge hooked up to Rogers Centre and create a quarantine surroundings. Gamers are usually not allowed to go away the stadium or lodge and violators face fines of as much as $750,000 Canadian ($551,000 U.S.) and as much as six months in jail.
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