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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 6, 2020
NHL players outside of Canada will be allowed to sidestep mandatory self-isolation under The Quarantine Act, the federal government has confirmed
The Public Health Agency of Canada told the Winnipeg Sun on Friday evening that they have assessed the restart plan from the NHL, and against public health criteria, “and concluded that when fully implemented it offers robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.”
“In addition, PHAC has received a written commitment from the implicated jurisdictions that they support the proposed risk mitigation measures from the NHL,” a statement from the PHAC read.
“Based on these factors, the Government of Canada has issued an exemption to the Mandatory Isolation order under national interest grounds for team members and staff of the NHL. As ongoing conditions of the exemption, players and staff must comply with the NHL’s public health plan, and PHAC must approve any changes to that plan.
“This gradual and measured resumption of professional sports is another step towards safely restarting many of the activities that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The exemption will cover Phases 3 and 4 of the NHL’s return to play plan.
While not official, reported dates for the commencement of Phase 3 — a two-week training camp for all NHL teams — could begin on July 13.
Phase 4 — the NHL’s 24-team playoff format — could begin on Aug. 1 in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton.
The league and the NHLPA still need to come to an agreement on the RTP plan, along with a new, multi-year collective bargaining agreement. Those talks are ongoing, and any agreement must be ratified by the majority of the players before it is finalized.
That agreement, according to reports, could come over the weekend, and a vote could come as early as Monday.
The exemption, which was expected to be granted by the feds, eliminates the final hurdle for Canadian NHL teams in terms of getting their players across the border and back to their respective cities without interfering with the start of training camps.
Some Canadian NHL teams, including the Winnipeg Jets, have their own protocol in place, including a seven-day quarantine period mandated by the club in an effort to protect the public. This also includes testing protocols set out in Phase 2 of the NHL’s RTP plan.
The Jets had players trickling into Winnipeg throughout the week, with the majority of the team expected to be in the city by Friday.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020