Blue Jays not allowed to play video games in Canada

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.

“Not like preseason coaching, regular-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,” Mendicino stated. “Of explicit concern, the Toronto Blue Jays can be required to play in areas the place the danger of virus transmission stays excessive.’

“Based mostly on the best-available public well being recommendation, we now have concluded the cross-border journey required for MLB regular-season play wouldn’t adequately shield Canadians’ well being and security. Because of this, Canada won’t be issuing a Nationwide Curiosity Exemption for the MLB’s common season at the moment.”

The staff, which was knowledgeable of the choice through a telephone name, 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.

MLB wanted an exemption to a requirement that anybody getting 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 circumstances 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 less complicated case as a result of the video games are restricted to 2 hubs — Edmonton and Toronto.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to begin the season July 24 at Tampa Bay. Their house opener was set for 5 days later in opposition to Washington.

The Blue Jays acquired an exemption for summer time camp, throughout which the gamers agreed to isolate within the lodge connected to Rogers Centre and create a quarantine atmosphere. Gamers aren’t allowed to depart 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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