The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement to The Canadian Press late Friday the five provinces with NHL teams — B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec — have all “provided written commitment that they support the proposed risk mitigation measures from the NHL.” (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement to The Canadian Press late Friday the five provinces with NHL teams — B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec — have all “provided written commitment that they support the proposed risk mitigation measures from the NHL.” (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Canadian government approves reduced quarantine for NHL players crossing the border

Players will now observe a 7-day quarantine upon arrival in the country

The federal government has waived its mandatory 14-day quarantine period for players acquired by Canadian NHL teams from U.S. clubs “under national interest grounds” ahead of the league’s April 12 trade deadline.

Two sources told The Canadian Press players will now observe a seven-day quarantine upon arrival in the country and be subject to daily testing for COVID-19. Players will then be eligible to suit up for their new teams while continuing to undergo daily testing the following week.

The sources were granted anonymity because details of the exemption have not been made public.

Players entering Canada during the season previously had to observe the standard two-week quarantine period with the border closed to non-essential travel due to the pandemic.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement to The Canadian Press late Friday the five provinces with NHL teams — B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec — have all “provided written commitment that they support the proposed risk mitigation measures from the NHL.”

“The Public Health Agency of Canada was consulted on the NHL’s plan and assessed it against public health criteria,” the statement read. “With the support of provincial and local public health authorities, PHAC concluded that, if fully implemented, it offers robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada for the purposes of in-season additions.”

The cut in quarantine time, which also applies to players called up from AHL teams south of the border, is a boost for Canada’s seven NHL franchises ahead of the trade deadline. Acquiring a player from the U.S. and then immediately having him sit in a hotel for 14 days was far from ideal.

The regular season is currently scheduled to end May 10.

Staff and players arriving in Canada ahead of training camps prior to the league’s 56-game season that started in January were subject to the same seven-day quarantine with additional testing.

But once the schedule got underway, players were back having to wait two weeks after crossing the border.

One example came when the Winnipeg Jets acquired centre Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic on Jan. 23. Dubois didn’t debut with his new team until Feb. 11.

The NHL completed the 2019-20 season inside tightly controlled bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto, but the truncated pandemic campaign includes teams travelling between cities.

The league was forced to create a Canadian-based North Division because of the border restrictions. Players and staff are only allowed at airports, the team hotel and arena while on the road this season, while similar rules apply when at home.

The Montreal Canadiens had four of their games postponed this week after two players were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. General manager Marc Bergevin said Thursday one member of the team had a confirmed case of a variant.

The Canadiens acquired veteran centre Eric Staal from the Buffalo Sabres for two draft picks Friday. The 36-year-old would have had to quarantine two weeks under the previous rules, but will now only have to wait seven days.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Dan May, a new resident to Kimberley, had two trailers on his property vandalized, but the outpouring of support from the community helped turn a negative situation into a positive. Photo submitted.
“I’m not Bill” – new Kimberley family’s trailers vandalized

Community rallies after concession trailer vandalized

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. Bulletin file
Kimberley, Golden unlikely to get mass vaccination clinics: MLA Clovechok

Kimberley has 17 active cases as of Tuesday, April 20; Golden 7

CBAL Kimberley is offering a number of programs in the coming weeks.
CBAL Kimberley is offering a number of programs in the coming weeks

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy in Kimberley continues to offer programs… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read