The NHL is planning to allow players to return to their home cities to begin small optional group skates and workouts in early June. Read MoreNHL releases Phase 2 of return-to-sport plan; expects early June roll out — Winnipeg Sun
NHL releases Phase 2 of return-to-sport plan; expects early June roll out
Paul FriesenMore from Paul Friesen
Published:May 25, 2020
Updated:May 25, 2020 12:41 PM CDT
The NHL is planning to allow players to return to their home cities to begin small optional group skates and workouts in early June.
The plan is outlined in a comprehensive, 21-page document covering Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play protocol, released on Monday.
It allows for players to travel back to their team cities if they choose to, where extensive testing and prevention guidelines will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The document covers everything from the number of players who can skate at one time to how their equipment is handled to where they should eat meals and have showers.
It also includes a warning.
“This Protocol, while very comprehensive, cannot mitigate all risk,” the memo reads. “A range of clinical scenarios exist, from very mild to fatal outcome. COVID-19 generally affects older age groups and those with previously existing medical conditions, moreso than younger, and otherwise healthy, individuals, and we recognize that Players and personnel have family and household members who may fall into these vulnerable categories.”
Players who travel back to their team sites commercially will be forced to self-quarantine for 14 days before taking part. Those travelling privately or by charter flight can avoid the quarantine period if local regulations allow.
NHL and AHL players will be compensated up to $1,500 U.S. for travel, and any who don’t have permanent residences will be put up in hotels, provided the hotels have strict cleaning and virus prevention standards and the amenities players are used to having on road trips.
The memo says all players and team staff will be subject to a COVID-19 test, but only if there is enough local testing capacity “so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests.”
If testing is not available, returning players and staff will have to quarantine for two weeks.
Players and staff will also be subject to daily temperature and symptom checks before being allowed to enter team facilities. Anybody developing symptoms will be tested immediately and, if positive, will be quarantined.