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Unvaccinated NBA players will soon be allowed to enter Canada to play the Toronto Raptors next season.

The Canadian federal government is reportedly planning to drop the COVID-19 vaccine requirement by September 30, according to the Globe & Mail. The mandate prohibited unvaccinated foreigners from entering the country.

Why it Matters

Unvaccinated NBA players were prohibited from entering Toronto to play the Raptors last season. Philadelphia 76ers' guard Matisse Thybulle, for example, was barred from entering the country during Toronto's playoff series against Philadelphia.

The policy change will allow for all unvaccinated players to enter the country meaning Thybulle, Kyrie Irving, and other players who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed to compete at Scotiabank Arena.

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Key Dates

If the mandate is dropped on Sept. 30, as reported, unvaccinated players will be allowed to enter in time for Toronto's first preseason game of the year on October 2 in Edmonton. The regular season for the Raptors is scheduled to tip off on October 19 against the Cavaliers.

The Other Side

While Canada will be dropping its vaccine requirement, the United States still requires foreigners to be fully vaccinated to enter the country. All non-American Raptors players, therefore, must be fully vaccinated to travel between Canada and the United States. This was not an issue for the team last year as everyone in the organization was fully vaccinated.

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