Can your favorite player play in Toronto? What you need to know about Canada’s COVID vaccination policy

The rosters of MLB teams with unvaccinated players might look a little different when they head to Toronto for the 2022 season. Due to Canadian federal policy, players who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine will not be able to enter the country and play the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

The Texas Rangers were the first team to confront the restrictions imposed by the vaccination mandate; their series against the Blue Jays begins today.

Because vaccination status varies from team to team, Canadian federal policy will affect each squad as they travel to Toronto.

What exactly is the unvaccinated player policy and what does it mean for teams visiting the Blue Jays?

The Canadian government does not allow unvaccinated travelers to cross borders – except in special circumstances, such as. B. Funerals for family members. As a result, no Major League Baseball player who is not vaccinated will be allowed to travel to Canada and will not be paid for those games (more on that below). If players choose to get vaccinated to play in Canada, they must receive a dose of Johnson & Johnson or their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least 14 days prior to entering the country.

Is the policy likely to remain in place throughout the season?

At the moment, according to sources, there is no impetus for changing this policy. Unlike the exemption for unvaccinated entertainers and athletes created by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, there is currently “zero interest” in creating a similar exemption in Canada, Blue Jays sources say. Of course, there are several months between opening day and the end of the regular season, and as New York showed last month, things can change quickly. But as it stands today, don’t expect that policy to change any time soon.

Who are some key players who didn’t travel to Toronto for the opening weekend?

Rangers won’t be missing a player in Toronto during their first series. The team arrived in Canada this week with a fully intact roster.

As the season progresses, will we know in advance which players won’t travel to Toronto, or will it be a surprise?

Teams are not required to announce themselves in advance. As long as this policy is in place, this will become a hot-button question for players before traveling to Toronto. Some players who weren’t vaccinated last season — like Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts — said they had since received the shot. Others, like New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, have avoided directly answering questions about their vaccination status. Unless teams decide to announce ahead of time who won’t be making the trip to Toronto, expect speculation every series.

What will players who don’t travel to Toronto do while their teams are in Canada?

Not getting paid to play baseball. Unvaccinated players are not allowed to enter Canada, so unvaccinated players cannot remain in Toronto while their team plays at the Rogers Centre. Players who are unable to play in Toronto are placed on the restricted list — most commonly used for players struggling with personal issues or legal issues — and are not paid or given service time.

“This is worrying,” said MLBPA chief Tony Clark of the potential loss of salary and tenure. “As everyone knows, we value and respect the decisions made, particularly in relation to player health and the health of the community. But that’s an issue that we’re managing in the pandemic, that we’re managing domestically, still having to try to work our way through here to move forward.”

How are players not traveling to Toronto replaced in the roster?

According to a league source, teams that need to banned players can add a replacement to their active rosters for the series.

Are there equivalents for other teams/cities in MLB or elsewhere?

The NBA’s Toronto Raptors could preview any additional advantage the Blue Jays could have at home. The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving and other unvaccinated players could not play in Toronto in the playoffs set to begin April 16, while teams like the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers have declined to say if they are fully vaccinated. The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks have confirmed they have all received COVID-19 vaccinations.

Which teams travel to Toronto next?

The Jays begin the season with a three-game season-opener set against the Rangers this weekend. They then headed to a four-game series in New York against their AL East rivals, the Yankees.

The Oakland Athletics travel to Toronto next for three games April 15-17. Can your favorite player play in Toronto? What you need to know about Canada’s COVID vaccination policy

Joel McCord

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