Canadian News May 9, 2020 5:00 PM EST

Raptors to begin training, Leafs anticipating a return date

The Raptors are now allowed to begin training again as the provincial government announced that professional sports training facilities may now reopen.

Raptors to begin training, Leafs anticipating a return date
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC
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If you're a sports fan in Toronto, you'll be happy to hear that the Raptors are now allowed to begin training again as the provincial government just announced that professional sports training facilities may now be permitted to reopen, according to Blog TO.

On Friday morning, a statement was issued by Ontario's minister of heritage, Lisa MacLeod, stating that sports training facilities may now be allowed to reopen as long as their respective sports leagues have put in place proper health and safety protocols to combat coronavirus.

"Our top priority remains the health and safety of all Ontarians. As we prepare for a safe and gradual reopening of the economy, we have been working closely with public health experts and our professional sport teams to prepare for a return to play when it is safe to do so," said MacLeod.

MacLeod said that while they must do everything they can to slow the virus, they must also consider gradually reopening the economy, of which sports in Ontario make up over $12.6 billion annually, in addition to providing jobs.

"We are pleased to see professional sports teams take a leading role in producing new rigorous protocols to keep their athletes safe, while allowing them to train in a voluntary and individualized manner," said MacLeod.

"We look forward to seeing our athletes return to play in the not-too-distant future."

News of this allowance prompted the Toronto Raptors to release a list of their various preventive measures that will be putting in place for any players who choose to begin training at the OVO Athletic Centre on May 11.

Players will be allowed to practice their court shooting however locker rooms, weight rooms, medical facilities and offices within the building will remain closed fo now.

Only one player and one coach will be allowed inside the building at a time.

"Staff members will wear gloves and masks at all times when in the building. Players will wear masks at all times except when on court," reads the statement.

"A thorough cleaning of all spaces and equipment, including basketballs, will take place before and after each player uses the building. Symptom and temperature checks will be done by team medical staff before anyone enters the facility."

Media, members of the public, nor general staff will be allowed to enter the building. Security will be placed outside the building for the purpose of ensuring all physical distancing measures are met.

"The Toronto Raptors and MLSE, working closely with local government, infectious disease experts and public health authorities, will be facilitating limited access to OVO Athletic Centre for player workouts in line with league guidance," said the Raptors in the statement.

"Strict protocols have been designed to ensure this initial level of access will take place in a safe, controlled, and healthy way."

The Toronto Maple Leafs will still have to wait until they are allowed to return to work because the NHL hasn't yet to allowed any of its teams to resume training at this time.

"It means they can reopen when we allow all teams to reopen," said Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner on Friday morning. "We’re not there yet."

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