Blue Jays permitted to enter Canada, will isolate in Rogers Centre
Mark Blinch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Toronto Blue Jays are officially headed north.

The team received a letter of exemption from the Canadian government Monday, permitting the team to enter Canada and conduct summer camp at Rogers Centre.

All travelers currently entering Canada are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to abide by the country's Quarantine Act, the Blue Jays will be isolated inside Rogers Centre during camp and will stay at the hotel attached to the stadium.

"The plan for hosting summer training camp in Toronto required government and public health approval at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels," the team said in a statement obtained by Keegan Matheson of MLB.com. "At its core, the plan necessitates players and club personnel to enter a closed environment at Rogers Centre. In collaboration with public health agencies, the Blue Jays have established comprehensive protocols to ensure the highest standards of health and safety are met prior to and during travel, and to create a cohort quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining hotel."

Players and staff are currently undergoing screening at the team's spring complex in Dunedin, Florida. Only those with two consecutive negative tests will fly to Toronto on private charters this weekend.

Once in Toronto, all Blue Jays personnel will be tested for COVID-19 every two days; those who test positive will be isolated until they test negative twice in succession, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith.

"There are clear penalties in place ... for violation of quarantine that has been communicated to (players and staff) coming to Toronto," Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro told reporters via conference call, according to Sportsnet's Arash Madani.

The first workout at Rogers Centre is tentatively scheduled for Monday, according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun. Social distancing will also be encouraged during training.

The federal government's waiver applies only to summer camp, and the Blue Jays would have to obtain separate permission before hosting regular-season games in Toronto. No decision has been made on where they'll play home games in 2020, although the team's preference remains Rogers Centre.

"We do have a plan for (the regular season)," Shapiro said, per CBC's Devin Heroux. "We still do have some areas to address. I'd say we're 80% of the way there. Travel related issues create complexities that we still need to work through."

A return to Dunedin remains the primary regular-season backup plan, though Shapiro said that other venues are being considered, according to Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. He's reportedly expecting plans to be finalized within the next week to 10 days.

Shapiro added that the Blue Jays will only play intrasquad games before the regular season begins in late July.

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Blue Jays permitted to enter Canada, will isolate in Rogers Centre
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