When the Major League Baseball season begins later this month, the Toronto Blue Jays will not be playing at their home ballpark. The team had been in discussions with Canadian officials to allow an exemption for players and staff of the mandatory 14-day quarantine required for anyone entering the country.
Government officials denied the team's request and said they were concerned about the amount of cross-border travel that would be required over the course of the 60-game season.
"Unlike preseason training, regular-season games would require repeated cross-border travel of Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opponent teams into and out of Canada," Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said. "Of particular concern, the Toronto Blue Jays would be required to play in locations where the risk of virus transmission remains high.
"Based on the best available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular-season play would not adequately protect Canadians' health and safety. As a result, Canada will not be issuing a National Interest Exemption for the MLB's regular season at this time.''
The decision was made a few days after the team was given permission by city and provincial officials to play games at the Rogers Center.
Now, the Blue Jays are looking for a new stadium. According to ESPN, the two most-likely options are Dunedin, Florida, where their spring training facility is located or Buffalo New York, which is the home of their AAA affiliate.
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