Two days after telling its players to stay close to their NHL cities, the league is now allowing players to return to their homes — no matter what city or country — as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL said in a news release.
The league announced it is letting its players go home but to self-quarantine until the end of March.
The CDC recommended Sunday night that gatherings of 50 people or more not be held for eight weeks, meaning it’s likely that if the NHL returns for this season, it won’t be with fans until at least mid-May.
"Our objective will be that, in addition to continuing regular updates, we will be able to provide high-level guidance on potential of opening a training camp period roughly 45 days into the 60-day period covered by the CDC’s directive,” the memo said.
The league said that after the self-quarantine period and depending on the state of the pandemic, "consideration" will be made to open club facilities for small workout groups.
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About 3 1/2 weeks remain on the regular-season slate, and no team has more than 14 games remaining on its schedule.
When the league paused its season March 12, it included in its statement that, "Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup."
As of Monday morning, there has been no known case of a player testing positive for COVID-19.
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