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

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

Council wants a say in the expansion of long term care services in Smithers. Pictured here is the Bulkley Lodge facility in that community. (Google photo)
Long term care remains on council priority list

Wants to be involved in expansion plans in Smithers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Most Read