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

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Last year’s flood season stretched from April through early July, as this picture of flooding at Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020 shows. With area snowpacks at slightly above normal, temperatures and rainfall will play a role in determining what this year’s flood season looks like. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)
Snowpacks in area slightly higher than normal as freshet starts

Temperatures and rainfall are critical flood risk factors in coming weeks

The Clinton Annual Ball went ahead in 2020, albeit in a different format and with far fewer guests than usual. (Photo credit: Clinton Annual Ball committee)
Clinton Annual Ball postponed again in 2021, but still carries on

Thanks to some creativity, ball is still the longest continually-held event of its kind in Canada

The 2020 financial statements for Cache Creek show that the village needs to look at either increasing revenues or cutting services in order to maintain a balanced budget. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Cache Creek council advised to increase revenues or cut services

Presentation also shows that continued use of Landfill Legacy Fund for operations is unsustainable

A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
Major grant will help refurbish historic Alexandra Bridge near Spuzzum

The 1926 bridge, which last saw vehicle traffic in 1964, is major attraction on Fraser Canyon drive

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read