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Reports: Canada to drop vaccine mandate this month

Apr 20, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A view of the Toronto Raptors fans Light Up the North routine during player introductions of game three of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

By the time the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs open their seasons next month, Canada is expected to have removed its vaccine mandate for international visitors.

Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday that the Canadian government is set to change its pandemic-era border rules by the end of the month.

According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, the switch is tentatively set for Sept. 30 but still needs approval from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

Under current regulations, people entering Canada must be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 (two doses for some manufacturers, one for Johnson & Johnson).

The requirement prevented unvaccinated players in the major North American sports leagues from competing in games at Toronto.

When the Raptors played host to the 76ers in the playoffs in April, Philadelphia guard Matisse Thybulle had to skip the trips to Toronto.

Few NHL players missed games in Canada as almost all of the league’s players were vaccinated last year.

In Major League Baseball, however, ahead of almost every Toronto Blue Jays home series, the visiting team released a list of players it was placing on the restricted list as they would be unable to travel north of the border. The issue peaked when the Kansas City Royals were without 10 players for a mid-July series.

–Field Level Media