Ottawa approves Stanley Cup playoffs NHL travel exemption

The federal government has approved a travel exemption for the last two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which will allow NHL teams to cross the Canadian-US border after a modified quarantine.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino issued a “national interest” exemption to the coalition that allows cross-border travel under certain conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHL players and team personnel will use private jets to enter and leave the country. In addition to the daily COVID-19 test, players and club personnel from the United States to Canada will undergo pre-arrival and post-arrival testing.

Players will have to live in a modified quarantine area, which includes the team hotel and arena. They will have to abide by rules that strictly restrict or strictly prohibit interaction with the public in these two places.Will not use shared facilities and will not be in contact with the public

These rules are in addition to other public health measures implemented by the NHL during the season.

“In addition to the NHL’s COVID agreement, NHL players and staff must also comply with all local public health regulations,” Mendicino said in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on both sides of the border. We will not hesitate to take further public health measures when necessary.”

In June 2020, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino issued a “national interest” exemption to exempt NHL teams from the isolation requirements for the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canada Press)

This exemption allows the champions of the NHL all-Canada division and their American opponents to transit without isolation during the Stanley Cup semifinals and finals.

When TSN and the Canadian media first reported the possibility of exemption in late May, federal sources emphasized that the health risks faced by the Canadian public are low. Vaccination rates for NHL players and parties traveling with the team are high. All players will have frequent testing requirements, and the team will be forced to stay in the bubble between the team hotel and the ice rink while in Canada.

The Montreal Canadiens currently lead the Winnipeg Jets 2-0 in the Northern Division finals. The winner of the series will face one of the three U.S. division champions in the league semifinals. The two semi-final winners will compete for the Stanley Cup.

This exemption will mark the first regular cross-border travel in the NHL during the pandemic. Last summer, the NHL ended the season with Toronto and Edmonton as the center. All American teams only crossed the border once before departure.

Before the transaction deadline in April this year, NHL personnel received a special exemption and could only accept a 7-day quarantine. The federal government also exempted NHL players and team staff from returning to Canada to participate in the 14-day mandatory quarantine period for training camps in December on the grounds of “national interest”.

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