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Mandatory proof of vaccination coming for Saskatoon leisure centres, indoor rinks

As of Oct. 15, proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required to access leisure centres and indoor rinks in Saskatoon. File / Global News

Anyone entering leisure centres or indoor rinks in Saskatoon will be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test.

The measure comes into effect on Oct. 15 and applies to anyone aged 12 and older.

However, it does not apply to libraries located within leisure centres.

Read more: Saskatchewan ordering more rapid test kits, may look for other options as demand grows

City councillors held a special meeting on Friday morning to discuss bringing in the measure.

A press release from the city said the added COVID precaution was approved as an “added safety measure” and to reduce confusion among customers.

“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,” said the release.

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“Additionally, indoor rinks are not specifically identified in the public health order which has resulted in a range of treatments across the city.”

As of Oct. 1, proof-of-vaccination or a negative test was needed to access fitness and weight rooms, gymnasiums, sports courts and tracks, land fitness classes, and meeting and multi-purpose rooms.

It was not required to access aquatic areas and programs, private gatherings held at public venues, including private rentals of meeting and multi-purpose rooms, and indoor arenas.

Read more: COVID-19 surges shows continued need for protective measures, say doctors

City officials said the public health order also created challenges for staff and confusion for customers accessing the facilities.

“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,” stated the city’s release.

“The city will include the new requirements into future rental contracts for all user groups accessing leisure centers and indoor arenas.”

Separate directional barriers will be in place for libraries located within leisure centres.

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