Council approves mandatory proof of full vaccination or negative test within all City Leisure Centre areas & indoor rinks
To protect the health and safety of residents, customers and employees, beginning October 15 proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or negative test within 72 hours is now mandatory for ages 12 and over within all Leisure Centre areas and at the City’s indoor rinks. City Council approved the action at its Special Meeting Friday, October 8 as an added safety measure to complement the Provincial Public Health Order, reduce confusion for customers and address the increasing spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Effective October 1, the Province required individuals over the age of 12 to show proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test and ID for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues, including indoor fitness centres and gyms.
An initial review of the Public Health Order determined that proof of vaccination or negative test was required to access dryland areas within the City’s Leisure Centres such as fitness and weight rooms, gymnasiums, sports courts and tracks, land fitness classes, and meeting and multi-purpose rooms.
The Public Health Order did not apply to aquatic areas and programs, private gatherings held at public venues (e.g. private rentals of meeting and multi-purpose rooms) and indoor arenas.
The complexity and size of the City’s multi-use Leisure Centres created a challenge to apply the Public Health Order, as there are many shared areas and access to multiple spaces beyond the point of entry where vaccination or test status is being confirmed by Commissionaires.
The Public Health Order applies to some programs and services within the facilities and not others, creating challenges for staff and confusion for residents and customers accessing programs and services. The overall impact to COVID-19 safety of the whole facility is not being fully realized as a result.
The Provincial Business Response Team suggested that multi-use facilities containing an aquatic facility should require all patrons to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry.
Additionally, indoor rinks are not specifically identified in the Public Health Order which has resulted in a range of treatments across the city. Council’s decision aligns the City’s indoor rinks with the best practices being conducted on a local level.
Council’s decision will ensure that all visitors to Leisure Centres and indoor arenas will need to comply with the requirement to create a safer atmosphere for all. The City will include the new requirements into future rental contracts for all user groups accessing Leisure Centers and indoor arenas.
It is important to note that this requirement does not apply to any public members directly accessing the Saskatoon Public Library locations located within Leisure Centres. Libraries do not require the public to show proof of vaccination or negative test to enter their facilities under the current Public Health Order. Separate directional barriers will be in place for libraries that are located inside Leisure Centres.
Proof of Full Vaccination
As a reminder, acceptable forms of proof of full vaccination, to be provided along with photo ID, are:
- Wallet cards received at time of immunization
- A printed copy of your MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code) or a ‘screenshot’ of your vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code) saved to your device
- A COVID-19 vaccine printout from Saskatchewan Health Authority Public Health
- A QR code/MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate uploaded to SK Vax Wallet app which will is available free from Google Play or Apple App stores
- Official proof of vaccine documents from other governments
Proof of Negative Test
Individuals who do not have proof of vaccination have the option of providing proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result from within the previous 72 hours. This test is to be done at the expense of the individual; a list of locations and labs offering testing services is available here. Self-administered take-home rapid antigen tests (e.g. pictures of negative tests) will not be accepted as valid proof of negative COVID-19 test results.
For the latest updates, visit saskatoon.ca/covid-19.