Still No Word On Whether The NHL Can Stage Semi-Final Playoff Games In Canada

The NHL is waiting.

Either the Winnipeg Jets or the Montreal Canadiens will be playing in the National Hockey League’s semifinal round but the league still does not know whether there can be games played in Canada. The NHL wants to know if an American team can travel to Canada, specifically Manitoba or Quebec or if a Canadian team has to be based in the United States as the US-Canadian border is closed until June 21st and people entering Canada have to go into a quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada is far behind the United States in COVID-19 vaccinations and Ontario is going through yet another lockdown. Quebec has eased COVID-19 restrictions.  Just six percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But the Justin Trudeau government might be willing to make a special exception for the NHL and allow a visiting team from the U.S. to fly into a Canadian city to play Stanley Cup playoff games without quarantine requirements.

The NHL wanted to know by June 1st whether the Canadian government would change its ruling. The league got no answer. The country did make an exception for the NHL by cutting down the quarantine to seven days for players who were traded to a North Division team this season. The North Division housed all seven Canadian teams in 2020-2021. In March, Canada opened quarantine hotels for international flights landing in the country. Earlier this week, one New York Congressman Brian Higgins and two Canadian MPs, Wayne Easter and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, pushed to open the border. The Canadian government has ruled all travelers entering Canada, regardless of citizenship, must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. The Wilson Task Force on Public Health and the U.S.-Canadian Border has no guidelines to reopen the border. Meanwhile, the NHL waits.

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