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Ontario says Jays cleared to play at home, but final decision lies with feds

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he’s looking forward to the Toronto Blue Jays playing at Rogers Centre this season after a member of his government said the Major League Baseball team has been given the green light to play games at home.

The federal government, however, has not yet said whether it has approved of the plan.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod told Ottawa’s TSN Radio 1200 on Thursday that the Blue Jays have clearance to play in Toronto and travel to the United States for road games during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said teams visiting Toronto will stay inside a quarantine bubble, which would include Rogers Centre and a hotel. MacLeod said the agreement will be rescinded if the protocols put in place are broken.

Because the plan would involve multiple crossings of the Canada-U.S. border both by the Blue Jays and by visiting teams, the final say on whether the plan can go ahead rests with the federal government. Canada currently requires individuals to quarantine for 14 days after crossing the international border.

While MacLeod said the Blue Jays “have been cleared by the federal government to play in both countries,” Ottawa has yet to confirm that is the case.

WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo discusses logistics of Jays playing season in Toronto:

Dr Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer and a self-confessed Jays fan, spoke with reporters on Parliament Hill on Tuesday. 3:23

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