Canada is reportedly set to drop its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those entering the country on Sept. 30, per Eric Atkins and Robert Fife of The Globe and Mail.
The mandate that had been in place prevented Major League Baseball teams traveling to Rogers Centre to face the Toronto Blue Jays to bring along players on their roster that were unvaccinated. Those players were then placed on the restricted list until the series concluded.
The Philadelphia Phillies were among a couple of teams who had multiple players placed on the restricted list upon crossing the border. In their previous trip to Toronto in July, the club was without Aaron Nola, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Gibson, and Alec Bohm.
Due to some players being on the injured list at that time, it's believed that there may be more who would've been unable to participate in the series had they been healthy.
Now with Canada likely lifting the mandate, players will no longer have to be put on the restricted list and will be allowed to travel with their team. It comes at the perfect time, as the 2022 MLB Postseason is scheduled to begin on Oct. 7. That would have put players who are unvaccinated in tough spot—either get the vaccine in time to for the playoffs, or miss the series entirely.
As of now, the Blue Jays would face the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card round, with Toronto hosting all three games as the higher seeds.
Philadelphia would have only needed to worry if they were to play against the Blue Jays in the World Series, which isn't a likely outcome as things currently stand. Anything is possible, but let's just focus on clinching a postseason berth first.
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