Toronto Blue Jays waiting to return to Toronto
Club hopes the federal government let them go back to Toronto and play at Rogers center starting July 30
On Wednesday, a government official familiar with the talks told The Associated Press that Toronto Blue Jays won’t know by this weekend if the federal government will permit them to play in Canada soon.
According to a team spokeswoman, Blue Jays continues to work with the federal government to get permission to play games at Rogers Centre starting July 30. They expected to receive a response by Friday.
In a statement to CBC, the team said as they have said before, they continue to work with the federal government towards playing games at Rogers Centre starting July 30, and they expect to receive a response by Friday. In this statement, they declared there were no further at the time, but they will share new information as it becomes available.
What officials say
But the government official said the Blue Jays will not find out whether they will get to play in Toronto by the weekend. Since no one has been authorized to discuss the talks publicly, the official spoke on condition of anonymity.
The U.S.-Canada border is still closed to nonessential travel. Major League Baseball will need an exemption for players and team staff who are not vaccinated to play games in Canada. From last week, fully vaccinated athletes in MLB who have valid work permits no longer need to be quarantined for 14 days after they enter Canada. But teams also have non-vaccinated players. There should be a quarantine exemption and the protocols around that worked out.
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Another official also said the team is expecting an answer by Friday based on the conversations with the government and added that time is the club’s breaking point timewise. The official mentioned that the team has a long homestand which is starting July 30 and means over 25 percent of the remaining games at a crucial time in competitions. this team is tied for third in American League East standings.
A third official, who was also not authorized to speak publicly, said it would be preferable to have lead time to move what the club needs from Buffalo and prepare for Toronto operations, although they have already begun preparations at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The exemption for Toronto Blue Jays
If the Blue Jays don’t receive an exemption for the 10-game homestand which begins July 30, the next homestand will begin August 20. Approval may come during a federal election widely expected to be called next month. It is politically sensitive to provide exemptions for travel into Canada. While the Canadian government is trying to get a high percentage of Canadians fully vaccinated by the end of July, non-essential fully vaccinated Americans and foreigners won’t be allowed in Canada.
The Blue Jays played home games during the 2020 season in Buffalo. They started this season in Dunedin, Florida, and then moved to Buffalo. Due to the risk of spreading Covid, the Canadian government didn’t allow the team to play at home in Toronto. The reason behind this decision was the frequent travel required in the U.S. during a baseball season.
Toronto last played at Rogers Centre on Sept. 29, 2019. Rogers Centre has a capacity of 49,000, and the game ended with an 8-3 win over Tampa Bay.’
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Hyun-Jin Ryu, the ace of the Blue Jays, signed with the team before the 2020 season but he has not pitched a game in Toronto.
This week, the team said that Major League Baseball has high vaccination rates among players and personnel.
The club said vaccinated players and staff on the home and teams visiting, will have to show a negative Covid test and they will need no quarantine; there will also be weekly testing for fully vaccinated individuals.
The team said unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals on the home and visiting teams will both be on a modified quarantine for the first 14 days after they enter Canada. They won’t be permitted to leave their residence unless for participating in baseball activities at Rogers Centre.