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Citing National Interest, Canada Exempts NHL From Quarantine

Decision allows training camps to open
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2020 3:20 PM CST

(Newser) – NHL players and team staffs won't have to observe the 14-day quarantine that applies to new arrivals in Canada, the government announced Thursday. The decision, which Canada says was made on "national interest grounds," clears the way for teams to begin their training camps, Sportsnet reports. The Public Health Agency said the NHL's plan includes "robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada." The league also needs the approval of the five provinces that host NHL teams, and the agency said they've endorsed the plan. The Ottawa Senators opened training camp Thursday, and the other six teams in Canada plan to do the same in the next few days.

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The teams would also have to follow each province's rules during the regular season. "Modified quarantine means different things in different markets," said Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, per the CBC. As of now, a shorter season is scheduled to begin Jan. 13. The teams based in Canada will play each other only during the season, as well as during the first two rounds of the playoffs, per the AP. The border between the US and Canada is still closed to nonessential travel. (Read more NHL stories.)

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