TORONTO -- AP -- The NHL eased some of its COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for clubs that have been fully vaccinated. But because of the decidedly slower rollout of vaccines in Canada, franchises there won't be enjoying the same freedoms as some of their U.S.-based counterparts anytime soon as the Stanley Cup playoffs loom.

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The changes include loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, testing frequency, mask wearing and quarantine requirements. Only teams that have had a second dose will be deemed fully vaccinated in the eyes of the NHL.

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