Today the OMHA has confirmed that it will continue to require full vaccination for all “affected participants” per its original policy.
As a result of this announcement, TSMHA Board Members will recommence verifying vaccination status. Individuals who do not intend to be vaccinated will not be permitted to skate. Moreover, all affected persons who have not provided proof of vaccination status will not be permitted to skate after October 4, 2021, until such proof of vaccination, or proof of exemption submission, is recorded by the Board.
And now the details…
On September 14, 2021, the Province of Ontario announced amendments to Ontario Regulation 364/20, pertaining to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. The regulations underlie the “Vaccine Passport” recently announced by Premier Ford. Under these new regulations, effective September 22, 2021, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to enter an enumerated list of businesses or organizations, including, “[t]he indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities…including, for greater certainty, the indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events”. This will affect every hockey arena in the province.
As indicated in our news release on September 17, 2021, passport “guidance” documents released by the Province provide an exemption for children under 12, and children aged 12 to 18 who are entering a facility used for sports solely for the purpose of participating in organized sports, and those with a valid medical exemption.
As was noted in the same correspondence, the guidance document issued by the Ministry of Health is clear that it sets out only baseline requirements; it does not preclude businesses or organizations from imposing additional requirements where they deem appropriate or necessary. In this respect, on September 17, 2021, we noted that the OMHA was reviewing its policy based on the Provincial guideline.
Today, the OMHA has confirmed that its Hockey Vaccination Policy, as previously released, will continue to apply for all Affected Persons, including those aged 12 to 18.
Ultimately, the core goal of the TSMHA Hockey remains the health and safety of all participants, which includes following recommendations from public health care professionals. Accordingly, please be advised that, absent a specific exemption provided by OMHA directly, affected persons who have not provided any vaccination information to TSMHA will not be permitted to participate in OHMA-related activities with the Tecumseh-Shoreline Minor Hockey Association after October 4, 2021.
A schedule of dates during which TSMHA Board Members will be present at the Arena to collect vaccination information will be forthcoming shortly. Please continue to monitor the website for more news as it becomes available.