Travel between United States, Canada complicating MLB Toronto approval

Travel between United States, Canada complicating MLB Toronto approval

TORONTO — The Ontario government says the necessity of frequent travel between the U.S. and Canada is the complicating factor holding up approval for Major League Baseball to play in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Anne MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, said MLB’s plan is more difficult to approve because all 30 teams plan to be travelling. The NHL and NBA are intending to use hub cities.

Federal and local health authorities in Canada have approved a plan for the NHL to play in either Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, but the plan does not involve travel back between the U.S. and Canada. The NHL is selecting hub cities — most likely two — where all the teams will play.

MLB requires an exemption to a requirement anyone entering Canada for non-essential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to non essential travel until at least July 21.

“We want to make sure that the chief medical officer of health is satisfied with that criteria,” MacLeod said. “And again there is that complicating factor, that this would be a bit more travel related than the others, so that right now is where we are at with our federal counterparts.”

The Blue Jays are moving players to their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, where they will be tested and while they await word from the Canadian government. A number of players and staff already tested positive for the virus.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that city, provincial and federal authorities “kind of gave their approval,” but the Blue Jays are looking for a letter of support from the federal government. Ford also said Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, requires a few tweaks to MLB’s submitted plan to play, which health authorities have been reviewing.

Anna Maddison, a spokesman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the federal government and the Blue Jays are discussing details. Maddison said Toronto Public Health and Ontario Ministry of Health are also actively engaged with the Blue Jays.

Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said the U.S. is a disaster right now and it would be a bad look for the governments to turn a blind eye to public health for the purpose of resuming professional sports just as Ontario is getting its COVID-19 numbers under control.

A senior Canadian government official said last week that if MLB submitted an acceptable restart plan to the government, an exemption letter similar to the one provided to the NHL could be provided. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Rob Gillies, The Associated Press

Baseball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

New owners of Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire looking to be big part of the community

Randy and Alison Patton are the new owners of Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire

Alberta shifting to ‘targeted approach’ to asymptomatic COVID-19 testing

Alberta’s central zone down to 29 active cases

Notley to stay on as Alberta NDP leader for 2023 provincial election

The NDP took almost all of Edmonton but few seats outside of the city

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Death of mother grizzly a ‘big loss’ for bear population in Banff park: experts

The bear, known as No. 143, spent most of her time in the backcountry of Banff

U.S.-Canadian border closure reportedly could extend through November

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21

Threat of fall federal election eases as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Congeniality emerged as fears of second wave of COVID-19 were heightened after another case increase

Intoxicated male arrested by Ponoka RCMP passes away after fall

Incident remains under investigation by ASIRT

Most Read