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Coronavirus: Ontario eases restrictions, allowing sports training facilities to open

The Canadian men's basketball team practice at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Toronto Raptors say players will be allowed access to the OVO Athletic Centre starting next week for individual workouts.
The Canadian men's basketball team practice at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Toronto Raptors say players will be allowed access to the OVO Athletic Centre starting next week for individual workouts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO — Ontario has eased restrictions on pro sports teams, allowing them to open their training facilities starting Friday.

The Raptors wasted little time announcing that players who want to will be able to have limited access the OVO Athletic Centre starting Monday, with strict guidelines in place.

With MLS having already opened the door to individual player workouts outdoors at team training centres, Toronto FC is in the process of getting its protocol approved by the league and local authorities.

READ MORE: Raptors to resume training at Toronto facility in limited capacity

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said pro sport training facilities can reopen, provided their respective leagues have health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19.

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MacLeod said sports represents more than $12.6 billion to Ontario’s economy and thousands of jobs across the province.

While NBA guidelines allow for four players at a time in practice facilities, the Raptors will only have one player at a time in the building.

General manager Bobby Webster said the team felt more comfortable with the one-player limit. He said about half the team is currently in the city and all of those are interested in the individual workouts.

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