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Blue Jays not allowed to play games in Canada – ESPN

2:57 PM ET

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The Toronto Blue Jays have been denied approval by the Canadian authorities to participate in in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino declared in a statement Saturday that the federal authorities had denied the ask for.

“Compared with preseason coaching, standard-period games would need repeated cross-border vacation of Blue Jays players and staff members, as perfectly as opponent groups into and out of Canada,” Mendicino claimed. “Of individual issue, the Toronto Blue Jays would be essential to enjoy in places exactly where the risk of virus transmission remains superior.

“Primarily based on the finest-offered community wellbeing suggestions, we have concluded the cross-border vacation required for MLB typical-period perform would not sufficiently guard Canadians’ well being and protection. As a end result, Canada will not be issuing a Nationwide Curiosity Exemption for the MLB’s frequent season at this time.”

The workforce, which was informed of the conclusion via a cellphone connect with and had earlier been offered clearance by city and provincial governments to enjoy at Rogers Centre, issued a statement indicating it “totally respects” the determination.

“The security of the broader group — our enthusiasts — and the staff remained the priority of all people concerned, and with that, the club completely respects the federal government’s conclusion,” Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro explained in a assertion. “While our workforce will not be participating in household games at Rogers Centre this summer season, our players will consider the subject for the 2020 time with the exact satisfaction and passion consultant of an overall country. We simply cannot wait around right up until the day will come that we can perform in entrance of our enthusiasts once more on Canadian soil.”

Mendicino explained the federal govt is “open to thinking about long run restart plans for the postseason ought to the possibility of virus transmission diminish.”

The Blue Jays mentioned they are finalizing options for an option web site for common-time residence online games — choices consist of their schooling facility in Dunedin, Florida, or the house of their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York. Both web pages, however, pose concerns.

Florida is just one of the states hardest strike by the coronavirus, and players have explained they most popular to perform in Toronto.

A resource explained to ESPN’s Buster Olney that 1 of the most important problems with Buffalo is the high quality of the ballpark lights — which are regarded as worse than MLB common.

MLB desired an exemption to a need that any person entering Canada for nonessential factors ought to self-isolate for 14 times. The U.S.-Canada border stays shut to nonessential travel until at least Aug. 21.

COVID-19 cases are surging in the United States, although Canada has flattened the epidemic curve.

The NHL has received an exemption for its restart to the year, but that was a much more simple scenario because the video games are restricted to two hubs — Edmonton and Toronto.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to commence the time July 24 at Tampa Bay. Their property opener was established for 5 days afterwards against Washington.

The Blue Jays obtained an exemption for summer season camp, all through which the players agreed to isolate in the lodge attached to Rogers Centre and develop a quarantine surroundings. Gamers are not authorized to leave the stadium or hotel and violators face fines of up to $750,000 Canadian ($551,000 U.S.) and up to 6 months in jail.

Prior to Saturday’s announcement, there experienced been discussions involving the Blue Jays and gamers about the crew paying out off apartment leases, housing players at the Rogers Centre Marriott and supplying hardship spend of $twenty,000 or a lot more, sources advised ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Involved Press contributed to this report.


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