Unvaccinated NBA players eligible to play in Toronto under national interest exemption

Golden State Warriors shoot hoops on the court after a closed practice session at the Scotiabank Arena. (Chris Young/CP)

TORONTO -- While Toronto Raptors are finally back home, many players are getting their first taste of life in the city.

The Raptors opened their training camp at home today after being based south of the border over the past 19 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.

General manager Bobby Webster says the team decided to stay in Toronto for camp this year to reconnect with its hometown, adding that many players and staff hadn't been to the city.

Webster says the Raptors are one second dose away from being fully vaccinated and will be at 100 per cent by opening night on Oct. 20.

Visiting players who are unvaccinated can play in Toronto this season under a National Interest Exemption, meaning they will be restricted to Scotiabank Arena and the team hotel, and will have to pass COVID-19 test when they arrive in Canada.

Toronto last played at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 28 of 2020, before COVID-19 halted that season. Only four Raptors -- Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Chris Boucher -- remain from that team.

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