Statement from Minister Mendicino regarding Major League Baseball in Canada during COVID-19

Ottawa, July 18, 2020 —The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, issued the next assertion:

“During the last a number of weeks, the Authorities of Canada has labored carefully with Main League Baseball and all ranges of presidency to develop a protected restart plan for play, whereas putting in strict well being protocols and successfully managing the borders in an effort to shield the well being and security of Canadians all through COVID-19.

“As a part of MLB’s restart plan, the Public Well being Company of Canada initially assessed their proposal to permit the Toronto Blue Jays to carry preseason coaching on their home-field in Canada. The core components of the proposal required Toronto Blue Jays personnel to stay remoted throughout the Rogers Centre and adjoining amenities throughout preseason coaching. Most significantly, all Toronto Blue Jays coaching could be on the Rogers Centre and there could be no cross-border journey for both the Blue Jays exterior of Canada or any opponent group into Canada during preseason coaching.

“Based mostly on these circumstances, and with the settlement of provincial and municipal well being authorities, PHAC concluded MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays had a strong plan to mitigate the danger of importation and unfold of COVID-19 in Canada for the preseason.

“The MLB and Toronto Blue Jays had been then issued a Nationwide Curiosity Exemption Letter, allowing gamers and workers to enter Canada for preseason coaching solely.

“Following that call, the Authorities of Canada continued discussions with the MLB and Toronto Blue Jays concerning the common season that may have the group play residence video games on the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Nevertheless, not like preseason coaching, common 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. Of specific concern, the Toronto Blue Jays could 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’ve got concluded the cross-border journey required for MLB common 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.

“Now we have shared this information with the Blue Jays group. We stay open to contemplating future restart plans for the post-season ought to the danger of virus transmission diminish. We want the Blue Jays one of the best of luck as they begin the common season.

“Canada has been in a position to flatten the curve largely due to the sacrifices Canadians have made. We perceive skilled sports activities are essential to the financial system and to Canadians. On the similar time, our authorities will proceed to take choices on the border on the premise of the recommendation of our well being specialists in an effort to shield the well being and security of all Canadians”.

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