Elsewhere in York Region, 12 to 17 year olds must be fully immunized starting today, October 1, to participate in indoor youth sports
The City of Newmarket is on its Nov. 1 schedule requiring young people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to access municipal facilities, despite an instruction from the York Region Public Health Unit.
Effective today, October 1, the instruction letter requires all indoor sports facilities to confirm whether people 12 years of age and older are vaccinated, including those who play and watch organized sports. The local requirement takes precedence over an exemption in the provincial vaccine verification system, where people aged 12 to 17 participating in organized sports do not have to prove vaccination.
Newmarket supports the region’s requirement and had previously decided to take a similar approach, but will honor the grace period until November 1 before starting to require young people to be fully immunized to access facilities, according to a statement. Press.
“To ensure users have time to comply with the new guidelines, the city will take an education-focused approach until November 1, 2021,” the municipality said. “York Region will spend the next few weeks focusing on communication and education related to this letter of instruction, with enhanced actions, including enforcement, to follow.”
The York Region Letter of Direction, which also applies to private facilities, is enforceable under the Ontario Reopening Act and can result in fines of up to $ 100,000 for individuals or $ 10,000,000 to businesses for every day of violation.
The municipalities justified the decision by noting the transmission of COVID-19 that can occur with contact sports.
“Close contact, heavy breathing, long exposure times, crowded indoor spaces and masks removed during physical activity all contribute to an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19,” the city said. “To maintain opportunities for sport, the Town of Newmarket must remain diligent in ensuring the safety of participants. “
Some sports leagues, including the Newmarket Minor Hockey Association and the York North Basketball Association, already required young participants to be vaccinated before municipal terms.
Newmarket will still check the immunization status of young people, but will not turn people down until November 1. However, people 18 and older can still be refused, with no exemption under provincial rules requiring full COVID-19 vaccinations to enter athletic facilities.
Mayor John Taylor has asked people to cooperate with staff on the new rules.
“While we appreciate the fatigue and frustration everyone feels, we must remain diligent in keeping our community safe,” Taylor said.
“We are excited to be back in the sport, and it is important that we continue to work together to ensure the safety of our participants and staff to help prevent any further facility closures. We ask community members to be respectful and understanding with staff who find themselves in the difficult position of enforcing regulations and have no latitude to change them.