The City of Winnipeg is stepping in to help out with COVID-19 immunization checks for players, coaches, fans and refs at its 11 arenas.
In September, the city told arena permit-holders that they were responsible for confirming proof of vaccination, but after public outcry that the city’s officials should be the ones staffing its own arenas, more support is coming.
Support staff will be screening at all city-owned and operated arenas during peak hours, with the new measures staying in place until the end of the season — unless there are changes to the province’s current health orders.
The city is also rolling out an ambassador program at arenas to focus on education and compliance with public health orders.
“To be clear, city-operated arenas have a very minimal staff complement which generally consists of one city employee who is responsible for carrying out arena functions such as ice resurfacing and general building maintenance,” said Winnipeg’s CAO, Michael Jack.
“Having the minimum amount of city staff at these facilities helps us keep rental costs low for user groups.
“The city appreciates the efforts of user groups and community volunteers who have been doing their part to date to ensure the provincial public health orders are being followed, and that our community is being safe.”
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As of Monday, the city has also increased restrictions to accessing City Hall’s council building.
All visitors to the building — which includes members of the public as well as elected officials and city staff — will be required to show proof of vaccination and photo ID.
For unvaccinated members of the public who want to appear as a delegation at a council or committee meeting, the option to appear as a virtual delegation has been extended until the end of 2022.