Report: Unvaccinated NBA players warned about Canadian quarantine rules

The court is illuminated at Scotiabank Arena ahead of an NBA Finals game. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

Unvaccinated NBA players have been informed of stiff penalties they could face under Canada’s Quarantine Act if they break rules, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

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 a COVID-19 test when they arrive in Canada.

At least 95 per cent of the player pool in the NBA is reportedly vaccinated but some high-profile names — including Kyrie Irving, Jonathan Isaac and Canadian Andrew Wiggins — made headlines when training camp opened and they had yet to receive a vaccine. While Wiggins has since begun the vaccination process, the topic will continue to be a major one as the start of the regular season nears and teams will have to balance being competitive while following local health restrictions.

The Toronto Raptors said Wednesday the team is now fully vaccinated.

The Raptors are returning to Toronto this season after playing all of last year in Tampa, Fla.

Major League Baseball had a similar National Interest Exemption in Canada this year. The NHL has said it has not applied for a National Interest Exemption for the coming season.

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