Politics

Ottawa approves modified quarantine program for CFL players entering Canada

The federal government has announced a modified quarantine program for the Canadian Football League that will allow players to train with each other in isolation from the public, seven days after arriving in the country.

Returning CFL players can train with teammates after a 7-day hotel quarantine

CFL players will have to produce four negative COVID-19 tests before they are permitted to join team training camps. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The federal government has announced a modified quarantine program for the Canadian Football League that will allow players to train with each other in isolation from the public, seven days after arriving in the country.

The newly approved program comes as the league plans for a return to play in August after skipping the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams are scheduled to begin training camps on July 10.

The new rules mean players entering the country will not have to isolate for the typical 14-day period after arriving in Canada.

To qualify, players will have to complete seven days of isolation before departing for Canada and show a negative PCR test for COVID-19 72 hours before their departure.

Once they arrive, players will have to spend another seven days in isolation at a designated hotel. While at the hotel, players will be tested on days one, three and seven of their hotel quarantine.

If the tests are negative, players will then be allowed to leave the hotel and train with their teammates in isolation from the general public.

"Participants must also abide by all other national, provincial and local public health directives, including those surrounding travel," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in a media statement.

"Anyone who breaches these stringent conditions will have their exemptions revoked, be removed from training and must complete a standard 14-day quarantine."

The government says there will be designated compliance officers on each of the league's nine teams to ensure players follow public health directives.

American players make up a significant portion of CFL rosters, though teams are limited by the league to 20 U.S. players per squad.

The rules for CFL players are similar to, but slightly stricter than, the modified quarantine program announced earlier this month for Canadian Olympians preparing for the Tokyo games.

Unlike CFL players, Olympic athletes will be permitted to train among each other in "bubbles" as soon as they produce a negative test after arriving in Canada.

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