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Rogers Centre, the Blue Jay's home field, in Toronto, Ontario. Photo: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Canadian government denied the Blue Jays' request to play at their home field in Toronto, Ontario, this season over fears surrounding the surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S., ESPN reports, citing Canada's Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.

Why it matters: The team is working to finalize plans for an alternative field for its regular-season home games before its July 29 home opener against the Washington Nationals.

What they're saying: "Based on the best-available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular-season play would not adequately protect Canadians' health and safety," Mendicino said, according to ESPN.

  • Mendicino said the federal government is "open to considering future restart plans for the postseason should the risk of virus transmission diminish."
  • "In Canada you've seen us flatten the curve. You've seen that cases have decreased significantly and that is largely attributable to the sacrifices Canadians have made. We can ill afford a step back."

Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said in a statement on Saturday: "The safety of the broader community—our fans—and the team remained the priority of everyone involved, and with that, the club completely respects the federal government's decision," according to Major League Baseball.

What's next: The Blue Jays are scheduled to begin their season July 24 at Tampa Bay.

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2020 - Health

Italy tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a press conference on Oct. 25 in Rome. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced new coronavirus restrictions on Sunday that require face coverings be worn outdoors and mandate bars and restaurants close early.

Why it matters: Nearly 20,000 new cases were recorded in Italy on Saturday alone, per data from Johns Hopkins. COVID-19 infections began spiking dramatically in early October, after the country suppressed its first wave over the summer.

Oct 25, 2020 - World

Spain declares new state of emergency as COVID-19 cases surge

Photo: Gabriel Bouts/AFP via Getty Image

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Sunday announced a new state of emergency that imposes a curfew in an effort to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases.

Driving the news: The mandate comes less than a week after Spain became the first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million COVID-19 cases.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.