The Toronto Raptors won’t be able to play on their home turf this season due to the travel restrictions between the United States and Canada amid the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, they’ll have to play at Tampa Bay, Florida.

Raptors President Masai Ujiri posted a statement confirming the news that the Raptors will be forced to play in the U.S. this season.

“The Raptors worked diligently with public health officials at the local, provincial and federal level to secure a plan that would permit us to play our 2020-21 season on home soil and on our home court at Scotiabank Arena. These conversations were productive, and we found strong support for the protocols we put forward. Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida.

We want to thank all levels of government and their public health officials for their dedication to this process, and for looking after the health of Canadians. We commit to continuing our work together, planning for a safe return to play in Toronto. And as an organization, we remain committed to doing all we can to promote and demonstrate public health measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

So we’ll be away from our home and our fans for now. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure that’s possible for us – we love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the NBA. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look forward to the day we are all together again.” read the statement.

The team is yet to confirm the arena they’ll use for their home games, and it’s still unclear why they chose Tampa Bay ahead of other cities like Kentucky and Seattle who also pitched in to try and host Raptors’ games this season.

The team still hopes to be able to come back home at some point in the season but given the current context in the U.S, it’s unlikely that the Raptors will be able to play in Canada.