OTTAWA -- Professional sports teams in Ontario are one step closer to returning to action.

The provincial government confirmed on Friday it is enacting an emergency order to allow athletes from professional sports teams in the province to start training at their club facilities, effective immediately.

The order would cover NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and CFL clubs that play within the province of Ontario. Amateur athletes and those who play in lower-tiered professional leagues in Ontario have not received the same level of clearance. 

Athletes are now allowed to return to their team’s training facilities, provided they adhere to strict health protocols – which means they must abide by physical distancing rules and stay in small groups. That means teams are not permitted to run full practices or workouts with their entire roster at this time. 

While the order is province-wide, the ruling is subject to municipal guidelines – which could differ from one city to another. 

Under these guidelines, athletes from the following professional sports teams could start training in the province of Ontario: Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks.