Federal government shortens quarantine for NHL players ahead of trade deadline
Will drop from 14 to 7 days in time for league's April 12 trade deadline
The Canadian government approved a shortened seven-day quarantine with extra testing for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian teams before the April 12 trade deadline, The Canadian Press reported on Friday night.
CBC News previously reported that the move was expected to happen and that all provinces with NHL teams have approved of the measures.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) confirmed the latter to The Canadian Press.
"The Public Health Agency of Canada was consulted on the NHL's plan and assessed it against public health criteria," a statement read. "With the support of provincial and local public health authorities, PHAC concluded that, if fully implemented, it offers robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada for the purposes of in-season additions."
The seven-day mandate cuts in half the current quarantine requirement of 14 days, lessening an impediment to teams trading players across the Canada-U.S. border. The seven Canadian teams have been playing exclusively among themselves this season to prevent cross-border issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the six trades made since the league began a shortened 56-game season on Jan. 13, four have been between Canadian and U.S.-based teams, and three of those involved minor leaguers or prospects that didn't affect the NHL team's lineup.
The most significant trade of the season so far saw the Winnipeg Jets acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23 for Patrik Laine. Dubois missed seven of Winnipeg's games while he was in quarantine for 14 days. Laine had to quarantine for only 48 hours in going to the U.S., though his arrival in Columbus was delayed as he waited for a work visa.
A spokesperson for the NHL told CBC Sports that it had not been advised of any approval to the change in federal requirements.
With files from CBC's David Cochrane, CBC Sports and The Canadian Press