West Niagara municipalities are now implementing policies for use of public spaces, based on vaccination status.
Most municipal buildings, administrative or recreational, will require proof of vaccination upon entry; however, exemptions in cases of specific age groups, medical conditions and purpose of use do apply.
As of Sept 22., Grimsby’s Peach King Centre and Livingston Activity Centre will require proof of vaccination upon entry; however, town hall, Grimsby Public Library, Grimsby Museum and Public Art Gallery will not, unless attending an event which requires vaccination proof to be presented.
In Lincoln, vaccination proof is required for adults 18+ to enter Fleming Centre, Jordan Lions Arena and the Lincoln community centre. Town hall, the Lincoln Public Library and the Museum & Cultural Centre do not require proof of vaccination.
In West Lincoln, the West Lincoln Community Centre, Caistor Community Centre, Silverdale Community Centre and Wellandport Community Centre will require proof of vaccination for entry. All three branches of the West Lincoln Public Library — Smithville, Caistorville and Wellandport — do not require proof of vaccination for entry.
Across the area, regulations are uniform when it comes to exemptions in sporting arenas and other municipal facilities
Exemptions do apply to volunteers, coaches and officials but only when actively carrying out those roles, as well as patrons under 18 who are actively participating in organized sports leagues, dance or martial art classes.
The exemption does not apply to those over 12 attending recreational programs, those using the gym or weight facilities outside of an organized sport nor to those who are spectators at organized sporting events.
Exemptions also apply to patrons who enter facilities solely for the purpose of using a washroom, accessing customer service or paying bills, purchasing admission (for events not requiring proof of vaccination), those entering the area for purposes of health and safety and children under the age of 12. Parents are asked to be prepared to provide proof of identification with names and date of birth for staff to verify a child's age, and if staff cannot verify a patron to be under 12 and/or to qualify for an exemption, the patron will not be allowed to enter the facility. Adults are not exempt, even when accompanying a child who is.
Those with medical exemptions are expected to provide identification with a written document stating their exemption, by a designated physician (MD), registered nurse in the extended class (RN (EC)) or a nurse practitioner (NP). The exemption document must also include the name and contact information of the medical professional, logo or letterhead identifying them or their practice, statement that the document holder is exempt from being fully vaccinated and any effective time period for the medical reason which includes the date the patron is seeking access to the business or facility.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News