Regina city council eyeing changes to proof-of-vaccination requirement for youth

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Regina’s mayor says some councillors are planning to table changes that go ‘one step further’ with the city’s current proof-of-vaccination requirement for youth ages 12 to 17, who are eligible for their COVID-19 shots. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)
Regina’s mayor says some councillors are planning to table changes that go ‘one step further’ with the city’s current proof-of-vaccination requirement for youth ages 12 to 17, who are eligible for their COVID-19 shots. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

Some discussions could be coming to Regina City Hall regarding the current proof-of-vaccination requirement for young people.

As it stands, anyone between the ages of 12 and 17 is not obligated to provide their COVID-19 immunization status to enter city leisure centres, despite being eligible for their shots.

In an emailed statement Thursday afternoon, the City of Regina said it "supports the provincial government's emphasis on reducing the impact of the COVID pandemic on youth by maintaining as many sport and recreation opportunities as possible."

As an example, the city mentioned the province's lifting of the mask mandate for anyone under 18 during indoor sports or physical activities, and noted this measure is an extension of that.

"[City] administration sought to align with where the province came from," Regina mayor Sandra Masters said in an interview on The Morning Edition Thursday.

"Looking at what some of the other cities are doing at [recreational] facilities. I know there are some councillors who are tabling it for council consideration to go one step further."

Earlier this week, the City of Prince Albert announced proof of vaccination or a negative test result would be mandatory for anyone 12 and older at almost all civic facilities.

The city's library, fire hall, water treatment plant, arenas and leisure centres are among the places included in the requirement.

"We are dealing with some of the highest levels of COVID-19 infection and spread since the start of the pandemic," Prince Albert mayor Greg Dionne said in a news release Tuesday.

"Vaccines are safe and proven effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 to others. This policy make us all safer."

Over in Saskatoon, as of Friday, everyone 12 and older will also have to provide their proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter any city leisure centre or indoor rink. Libraries are exempt.

In a news release last week, the City of Saskatoon called it 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."

Since Oct. 1, proof of vaccination or a negative test has been required for most non-essential businesses in Saskatchewan, including gyms, restaurants and event venues.

Only children under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible for their COVID-19 vaccines, are exempt from the mandate.

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