The Toronto Blue Jays will face a unique situation when openning their summer training camp this weekend.
As the lone MLB team north of the border between Canada and the U.S., they will have to follow some added rules, including like self-isolating in the hotel when not at the field and being separated from family. These rules are aimed to keep themselves and the general public safe amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Blue Jays had to ask for permission from the Canadian government to use their Toronto stadium and got the OK Thursday for training purposes only. A decision is still to be made on whether or not the city can host its games during the regular season.
Team president Mark Shapiro says his players know what is at stake with coming into Canada.
Holding camp in Toronto helps the Blue Jays be away from their spring training facility in Florida, the U.S., which has been ravaged by the pandemic lately with a record-high 10,109 new reported Covid-19 cases on Thursday. Meanwhile, Ontario’s new case for the same day was 153.
However, some of the Blue Jays will be slightly delayed while training camps are set to begin around the league on Friday.
The team is completing intake screening in Dunedin, Fla., and each player needs 2 negative coronavirus tests before being cleared to train.
Shapiro announced that some of his players have received two negatives and will start practicing on Friday in a closed environment in Dunedin. A private flight will leave for Toronto this weekend when more players are cleared, he added.
Later Thursday, the Canadian Public Health Agency said it would waive the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for MLB on the grounds that the Blue Jays’ plan offers robust measures to mitigate the risk.
Several Blue Jays players and staff have tested positive for Covid-19 recently, as have plenty of other athletes over the last few weeks. The Blue Jays also had to close their spring training facility on June 19 after a player showed symptoms of the pandemic.