TORONTO (Reuters) - The reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors said on Friday they will allow players access to the team’s training facilities from next week under strict guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Raptors, who were third overall when the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season in March until further notice due to the coronavirus, made the announcement shortly after the Ontario government eased restrictions on professional sports teams in the province.
“The safety of our players, staff and community is paramount,” the Raptors said in a statement.
“The Raptors are committed to adhering to public health guidelines and government directives intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
As part of the restrictions, the Raptors cannot stage full practices or workouts with their entire roster yet.
Among the safeguards being put in place, the Raptors will allow one player in the building at a time while locker rooms, weight rooms, medical facilities and offices remain closed.
Each player, who will have their temperature checked before entering the facility, will be accompanied on court by one coach and there will be no overlap between groups.
Players will wear masks at all times except when on court, and a thorough cleaning of all spaces and equipment, including basketballs, will take place before and after each player uses the building.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson