On Friday around 1 PM, it was announced that there were new restrictions in British Columbia due to the spike of COVID-19 cases and the Omicron variant. It was announced the Vancouver Canucks would be reducing capacity for games at Rogers Arena to 50%.
It was first reported by Sportsnet 650’s Randip Janda on Friday morning. The capacity limit starts on Monday, December 20. That means the Canucks will have full capacity games for their weekend games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes.
The Canucks made the announcement official shortly after three.
The QR codes on vaccine passports will exactly be scanned upon entry as they were needed to be shown but not scanned before.
“With this highly transmissible variant, we need to have more space, more ventilation, and we need to ensure that we are enforcing the mask-wearing requirements that are in place for these events and ensuring that we’re scanning QR codes for these events,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry per Rob Williams of Daily Hive.
The Montreal Canadiens played their game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night without any fans at the Bell Centre. Their game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday has been postponed. Ontario also announced 50% capacity limits on sporting events and that included Maple Leafs and Senators games.
The Canucks have had Tucker Poolman, Brad Hunt, Juho Lammikko, Luke Schenn, and assistant coach Jason King test positive for COVID. The team also announced Friday that Tyler Motte has entered the COVID protocol.
The Canucks also cancelled their Friday afternoon practice at 8 Rinks in Burnaby.
COVID is really affecting the NHL and other sports such as the NFL. The Leafs who are in Vancouver announced that Alex Kerfoot and John Tavares have been placed into the COVID protocol. Players are required to quarantine for ten days.
The NHL announced that the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers have their games postponed until after the Christmas Break.
The Calgary Flames also have their games postponed until after Christmas and have 19 players on COVID protocol. They also have three cases of the Omicron variant among them.
The NHL is looking to avoid a league-wide pause but things could change.
Saturday’s game against the Leafs is the start of a five-game homestand for Vancouver.