NHL teams and players, rejoice! You can now cross the U.S.-Canadian border in your quest for the Stanley Cup. And you don’t even need to quarantine for 14 days first.
It’s true, as the Canadian government has approved a travel exemption for NHL teams competing in the semifinal round of the playoffs, referring to it as a “national interest” exemption.
Per a statement from the Canada Immigration Ministry, NHL teams are allowed to travel in and out of the country only on private planes. Given the state of major league sports these days, that shouldn’t be an issue.
“This decision was made in conjunction with the Public Health Agency of Canada, with the approval of provincial and municipal public health officials, including Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta,” read the statement.
“The NHL’s COVID Playoff Protocol will permit cross-border travel that is safeguarded by strict quarantining, a bubble, daily testing and a comprehensive protocol that will apply to all travelling NHL players and personnel.”
U.S. teams playing games in Canada will live in a modified bubble that will be limited to the hotel and arena, without any contact with the general public.
The NHL playoffs are currently in the second round. As of Monday, the Bruins-Islanders series is tied at 2-all, and the Lighting lead the Hurricanes, 3-1. Meanwhile, the Avalanche and Golden Knights are knotted at 2-all, and the Canadiens lead the Jets, 3-0, in Canada’s lone remaining series.