Vaccination or negative COVID test will not be required for council meetings

September 29, 2021, 8:09 pm


People will not have to be vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID test to attend municipal council meetings in Saskatchewan, the province has decided.

The Government Relations ministry had initially indicated to municipalities that everyone, including council members would have to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to attend a council meeting.

At the same time the province was saying Chamber of Commerce meetings, which generally are larger than council meetings, would not be considered public meetings under the health orders.

However, in an email to municipalities Wednesday, the Government Relations Ministry indicated that the earlier notifications were in error, and people will not need to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid test to attend council meetings.

"We would like to clarify that at this time, the provincial Public Health Order requires masking in all public places, this includes municipal facilities and those participating or observing council meetings open to the public," the ministry said in an email to municipalities.

"Contrary to the communication sent last week, checking proof of vaccination for attendees of Council meetings will not be addressed in the Public Health Order coming into effect Oct. 1. This will be left up to the discretion of each municipality.

"We apologize for the confusion."

Effective October 1 a provincial requirement for proof of vaccination or negative test will be implemented for public access to a list of establishments, businesses and event venues that bring groups of people together, including:

Indoor dining at restaurants;

Nightclubs, bars, taverns and other licensed establishments;

Event and entertainment venues, including conference centres, casinos, movie theatres, concert venues, live-music venues, museums, and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events;

Indoor fitness centres, and gyms.

Proof of vaccination will not be required for the following:

Retail businesses, including grocery stores;

Places of worship;

Fast food restaurants offering takeout and delivery;

Health care services, professional services, or personal services;

Hotels or other lodging;

Facilities hosting non-ticketed amateur sporting events, including youth athletics and recreational leagues;

Business meetings including chamber meetings,

Places of business closed to the general public, unless otherwise directed by the business or employer;

Private gatherings held at an indoor public residence.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the proof of vaccination or negative test requirement.