On Sunday afternoon, the Canadian government approved a travel exemption for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for travel between the Canadian and U.S. border. The exemption will allow teams to travel across the border for the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as long as a Canadian team is still playing.
BREAKING: The federal government has approved a travel exemption for the final 2 rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs that would allow NHL teams to cross the Canada-US border without quarantining. Players and club personnel will be subject to enhanced public health measures.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) June 6, 2021
The exemption will not require players and team personnel to quarantine upon crossing the border. Teams will use private planes to travel and will be subject to pre and post-arrival testing as well as daily COVID-19 protocol testing, according to the CBC. Much like last summer’s playoffs in Edmonton and Toronto, players traveling back and forth will be placed in modified quarantine bubbles having no contact with the general public.
The Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens face each other in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs currently, with Montreal leading that series 2-0. The winner will move on to face the winner of the Vegas Golden Knights-Colorado Avalanche series, which Colorado leads 2-1.
The travel exemption is a step forward towards fully re-opening the U.S-Canada border as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more controlled and U.S. and Canadian citizens begin to have easier access to COVID-19 vaccines. Allowing teams to cross the border for the Stanley Cup Playoffs is part of ongoing discussions between Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas as they approach fully re-opening the border.
All-in-all, this is great news for the U.S. and our neighbors to the North as we get back to more normal lives and get closer to putting COVID-19 behind us.