September 17th, 2021
The Government of Ontario has provided, in a September 14 news release, detailed information regarding the upcoming Proof of Vaccination requirements and exemptions. These come into effect on September 22, 2021. The news release, the Regulation and the Guidance are found at these links: Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy | Ontario Newsroom O. Reg. 645/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (ontario.ca) Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act (gov.on.ca)
OWHA recommends that every association and team carefully read all of the information at the links above for details regarding Proof of Vaccination requirements and exemptions. (This document is not legal advice.)
Please note that there is a limited youth sport exemption.
The rules of the limited youth sport exemption include but are not limited to the following (please carefully read all the information links above for more detail):
- Patrons under 18 years of age who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport, in accordance with the Guidance (third link).
- The exemption relating to youth under 18 years of age actively participating in indoor organized sport applies to training, practices, games and competitions.
- Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and proof of identification (or proof of being entitled to another exemption) is required for patrons 18 years and older, including parents or guardians of youth actively participating in an organized sport.
- Proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated is not required for workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials. Please also note that rules regarding Proof of Vaccination requirements and exemptions may vary by public health unit / region / municipality / location / specific facility and that these rules may change.
Communication with individual facilities is crucial. OWHA strongly encourages every eligible person to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19. We also strongly urge all adults who are taking any position of responsibility such as coaches, managers, trainers, team staff, officials, volunteers and others to get fully vaccinated prior to participation in hockey.
The OWHA does point out that PHUs, municipalities, arenas and facilities have the authority to be more restrictive and that some are being more restrictive than the requirements noted in information linked above. This may mean that OWHA players and teams may be able to practice or play in 1 facility but may not be permitted to enter other facilities without complying with different local or facility requirements.
The best way to ensure access into a facility is to be fully vaccinated and carry proof and identification with you. The OWHA continues to work within the mandates of the provincial government and is prepared to implement measures that are deemed appropriate by it to protect the health and safety of its citizens and our participants and stakeholders