The team reportedly needed a waiver of the rule requiring anyone entering the country to self-isolate for two weeks. The Blue Jays had previously been granted a pre-season training exemption, which required them to conduct all team activities at the Rogers Center, where they normally play their home games, and at the “adjacent facilities”.“However, unlike pre-training, regular season games would require repeated cross-border travel for Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opposing teams to and from Canada,” the minister said in his statement. communicated. “Of particular concern is that the Toronto Blue Jays would be required to play in places where the risk of virus transmission remains high.
The Blue Jays said in a statement they were “in the process of finalizing the best home location for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
The city of Toronto had previously approved plans to allow the Blue Jays to play games at the Rogers Center, but that was canceled by Saturday’s decision by the Canadian government.
“I fully respect this decision and thank the Government of Canada for working with the province and the city on this issue,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory on Saturday.
If the Blue Jays were to make it to the playoffs, the Canadian government said the decision could be overturned “if the risk of transmitting the virus decreases.”
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start the season at Tampa Bay on July 24. Their first home game is scheduled for July 29 against the Washington Nationals. A number of players haveof the scheduled 60 game season on health issues for themselves and their families.
The Canada-U.S. Border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21.