On Tuesday, the CFL announced that once the Canadian Federal Government invokes its vaccination mandate for traveling by air or train on November 30th, unvaccinated players will not be able to participate in or travel with their teams to the East or West Division finals or the Grey Cup. Additionally, players who cannot travel or participate with their team will be put on a suspended list and not paid for any of the missed games.
The CFL’s Division Finals on December 5th and the Grey Cup on December 12th will be the only games affected by the new policy.
It should be noted that teams in the East Division reside close enough to each other where they can easily bus players to any location within their division, meaning no team should be at risk of missing players in the East Division Final. Conversely, West Division teams are not located very close together and will likely have teams fly or take a train in the playoffs, unless they want to take a very long bus ride.
With Winnipeg about to clinch the 1st seed in the West, whoever they face in the playoffs will have to choose either to fly to the game while leaving some players behind, or take a very long bus ride. For some teams like the Roughriders, the bus might still be doable with a trip of 573 kilometers from Regina to Winnipeg, but taking the bus would be much more challenging for a team like the Calgary Stampeders, who are 1,357 kilometers away, or the BC Lions, who are 2,423 kilometers away.
Getting to the Grey Cup may also be a challenge for the West Division, as the closest West Division team to Hamilton (the site of the 2021 Grey Cup) is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who are located 1,968 kilometers away.
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