The Blue Jays return to Canada. They will be there at the end of the month.
Toronto’s MLB team announced Friday that it will resume home games at the Rogers Center on July 30. The club has been forced to play exclusively in the United States in 2020 and 2021 due to the closure of the Canada-United States border and Canadian government restrictions on non-essentials. Cross-border travel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Canadian government approved the Jays’ request for a national interest waiver to border restrictions, The Associated Press reported. The team wanted an answer by Friday, the AP reported. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering ending travel restrictions in mid-August.
The Blue Jays will host the Royals at the stadium reopening. Toronto last played at the Rogers Center on September 29, 2019. It is unclear what the stadium’s seating capacity will be.
The Jays said in a statement that “robust health and safety protocols” will be implemented. Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino said unvaccinated staff “will have to undergo a modified quarantine, will not be allowed to go anywhere other than the hotel and stadium, and will have no interaction with the public in general”. A compliance officer will be assigned to each team, Mendicino said, according to AP.
Buffalo, NY, has been the home of the Jays for most of their exile. They moved to an improved Sahlen Field, home to their Triple-A affiliate, in mid-August during MLB’s shortened 2020 season. This year, they started their home schedule at their spring training stadium in Dunedin, Florida, before returning to Buffalo in June. The Bisons have been playing home games in Trenton, NJ, this year after their 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Jays players Alek Manoah and Jonathan Davis expressed their excitement at Friday’s news as they prepared to play another game in western New York.
In the meantime, the club is excited to be able to re-introduce fans to a certain All-Star and MVP candidate.