NHL extends self-quarantine period through April amid coronavirus


(Reuters) – The National Hockey League said on Tuesday that it had extended the self-quarantine recommendation for its players, coaches and staff by an additional 15 days through April 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The NHL advised its players to stay at home on March 16 and this is the third time it has extended its recommended period of self-quarantine.

The league said in a statement the decision was made after consultations with its medical experts and representatives of the NHL Players’ Association.

The NHL decided in mid-March to “pause” the 2019-20 season in a bid to try and stem the spread of the coronavirus. If the campaign does not get completed it would be only the third time in league history a Stanley Cup champion will not be crowned.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently said the league is prepared for a post-coronavirus relaunch whenever an opportunity presents itself and that it and has not ruled out any options when it comes to returning to play, including hosting games in neutral sites and without fans.

When the NHL suspended play there were 189 regular-season games remaining, which were to be followed by a postseason that would have started last week and ended in June.

The NHL has had a number of officially confirmed cases of coronavirus among its 31 teams spread across the United States and Canada.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis