NBA teams were informed Monday by the league that players must have either received a primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or obtained medical clearance from being vaccinated to play games in Canada this upcoming season, according to Bleacher Report and ESPN.
Players who fail to meet Canada’s vaccine requirements will not be paid for the games they miss. Teams must also report those players as, “Out — Health and Safety Protocols,” per a memo that was distributed by the league, as reported by ESPN.
The rules date back to the middle of last season. Notable teams that were affected included the Brooklyn Nets, who were forced to be without Kyrie Irving, and the Philadelphia 76ers, who didn’t have Matisse Thybulle when they went across the border for a playoff series against the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors are slated to play three preseason games in Canada in addition to 41 regular-season games.
Last season, Toronto’s entire roster was vaccinated. Players on this upcoming season’s roster will need to be vaccinated to play any game, not just those in Canada.