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Calgary businesses, church requiring proof of vaccination starting in September

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Two Calgary businesses and a church are asking guests for proof they received the COVID-19 vaccine to enter. This comes as B.C. announces a vaccine certificate program for certain social and recreational activities. Adam MacVicar reports. – Aug 23, 2021

Two Calgary businesses and a church announced on Monday that each would be requiring proof of vaccination for guests to enter.

At Marda Loop Church, preparations are underway to welcome back their congregation in September after services were held online throughout the pandemic.

“We have chosen to be a church that will — on a temporary basis for the sake of the vulnerable people in our community — have a policy that people be double vaccinated to come to live services,” pastor John Van Sloten said.

Click to play video: 'Albertans travelling to B.C need to provide proof of vaccination at certain events' Albertans travelling to B.C need to provide proof of vaccination at certain events
Albertans travelling to B.C need to provide proof of vaccination at certain events – Aug 23, 2021

According to Van Sloten, the church will also be accepting negative COVID-19 tests 72 hours ahead of the service.

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The church is continuing to livestream services for those in the congregation who aren’t comfortable attending in person.

The policy is meant to be a temporary measure as Alberta experiences a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Van Sloten noted there are members of the congregation with Down syndrome and others who are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

“For this time and this place, for those reasons, theologically and pragmatically, it’s a temporary choice that we’re making to make room for the weakest, the most vulnerable,” Van Sloten said.

Read more: Calgary Flames, Stampeders, Hitmen fans & staff must be fully vaccinated to attend games

Concertgoers at Dickens Pub in downtown Calgary will also need to provide proof of immunization to attend shows when the bar reopens next week.

In a statement posted to social media, the bar’s owners said it would offer refunds to guests who have tickets to upcoming events.

“But we are at a point with this whole thing where we need to find a way to move forward without an endless series of business closures and reopenings, and it is my opinion that this is the only realistic path available to us now.”

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Read more: Politicizing COVID-19 vaccine mandates could backfire, experts warn

The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club will be asking for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for ticketed events starting on Sept. 3.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the bar said its policy would be implemented as “open-ended” with “any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments and local and federal regulations.”

Read more: B.C. becomes third province to require proof of vaccination, starting Sept. 13

Meanwhile, on Monday, B.C. became the second province to announce a vaccine certificate — following Quebec.

Travellers heading to B.C. will need to show proof of vaccination from a provincial health authority and valid identification from that jurisdiction.

The Alberta Motor Association encourages all Albertans to do their research before departures, saying in a statement to Global News: “As things continue to evolve, travellers should monitor and be prepared to adjust to changing regulations. We also recommend that anyone travelling carry their proof of vaccine with them or have it accessible on their phone in case it is requested.”

The Alberta government says it has no plans for a vaccine certificate program at this time.

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– With a file from Lisa MacGregor

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