The Toronto Blue Jays have submitted a proposal to the federal government to return to the Rogers Center this season.
A team spokesperson said Monday that the Blue Jays have requested federal support to repatriate after securing support at the municipal and county levels.
The Canada-US border has been closed to non-essential travel until July 21, at the earliest, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baseball players crossing the border from the United States will likely be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, unless the Toronto team obtains permission from federal public health authorities for an exemption or amendment to this requirement.
Ottawa granted the National Hockey League an exemption from cross-border travel for the last two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The federal government recently approved a plan to allow Canadian Football League players and team staff to return to Canada without going through a complete 14-day quarantine.
On Monday, the federal government eased restrictions at the border, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents to return to the country without having to undergo quarantine. While it won’t immediately help the Blue Jays, it is a sign that things are moving in the right direction for the team after 16 months of tight travel restrictions.
Currently, the Blue Jays play their local games in Buffalo, New York, after starting their local schedule in Dunedin, Florida.
According to Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, it will take three or four weeks to move the club to Toronto, once the green light is given to return to the Rogers Center.
The Blue Jays were also forced to play their home games in Buffalo last year after the federal government rejected a proposal to exempt teams based in the United States from a 14-day quarantine.
The Blue Jays last game was at Rogers Center on September 29, 2019, when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3.