The NBA has reportedly notified its teams that players currently outside the United States have government clearance to re-enter the country — even if they are coming from nations currently under U.S. travel restrictions — due to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security order, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Marc Stein of the New York Times.
The order, signed into effect on May 22, exempts individuals who are a part of certain professional leagues and sporting groups from COVID-19 travel restrictions that would have otherwise barred their entry into the U.S.
In addition to granting players clearance to re-enter the country, the order extends to essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses and dependents.
According to the Department’s website, professional sporting groups included in this exemption are: the NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, WTA and ATP.
News of players and staff who were abroad being able to re-enter the U.S. comes amid reports that the NBA is looking to begin in-market training camps for its teams starting in July, followed by camps and scrimmages taking place in Orlando as a a hub city — with the NBA and NBPA also reportedly working on a plan to accommodate players’ family members to join them in the hub-city environment — as the league looks to determine if, and how, its season can resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Wednesday night, more than 1,701,500 people in the United States have been infected with the novel coronavirus and at least 100,000 have died, according to a database maintained by the New York Times.