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

Photo screen-shot from School District 51’s website
COVID-19 infection confirmed in Boundary School District

Those potentially exposed to the virus have been told to self-isolate, says acting Superintendent

Stock image.
Judge tells Grand Forks man accused of theft to guard his personal property

Edward ‘Joe’ Wright is accused of a break and entering at a flood-damaged property in North Ruckle

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Greenwood man to stand trial for alleged stabbing

Grand Forks provincial court will set a trial date next month

Grand Forks Mounties look on as a tow truck prepares to haul an SUV involved in a Highway 3 crash near the intersection of Spraggett Road Friday, April 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
First responders attend Highway 3 crash in Grand Forks

No one appears to be hurt in the two-vehicle crash which highway stopped traffic in both directions

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read