As of September 22, 2021, the Government of NB requires that everyone 12 years and over must show proof of vaccination to access certain events, services and businesses. The following information is supplementary to the details provided here: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
• Proof of vaccination must include two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Organizers do not need to validate timing between or after doses (not required to wait 14 days after 2nd dose)
• Although children born in 2009 who are not yet 12 years of age are eligible for vaccination, they are not required to show proof of vaccination until they turn 12. It is expected that there will be a transition period allowed for children born in 2010 who will be turning 12 in early 2022, further details will be communicated at a later time.
• Proof of vaccination is required for indoor festivals, performing arts and sporting events. It is also required to access gymnasiums, indoor pools, recreational facilities, etc. In addition, proof of vaccination is required for indoor organized gatherings (conferences and workshops), indoor group exercise (dance studios, yoga studies and climbing walls, etc), and indoor organized group recreational classes and activities (like theatre and art).
• Proof of a negative test cannot be used instead of vaccination for participants, volunteers or spectators.
• Although some organizations may decide to require proof of vaccination for outdoor activities, at this time it is not a requirement. It is recommended for close contact sports taking place in outdoor settings. Proof of vaccination is not required for access to adjacent indoor washroom facilities.
• Children under 12 years old with parents/guardians who refuse to provide proof of vaccination must be allowed to continue their activities however parents are not allowed to enter any indoor sport or recreation venue until they provide proof of vaccination.
• Depending on the situation, it is reasonable for facility operators to expect user groups to oversee the validation of proof of vaccination of their participants. Organizations are expected to work collaboratively with facility owners and operators to ensure compliance to the vaccination requirement
For regular season activities where participants are consistent, proof of vaccination does not need to be provided each time they attend the activity, it can be done upon registration but the organizer or coach must be able to demonstrate compliance if asked (checklist)
For proof of vaccination, organizers are required to see an official record of immunization with a piece of Government issued identification (driver’s license, Medicare card, birth certificate, etc.). A record of immunization can be obtained from MyHealthNB portal, the RHA clinic or pharmacy that gave the vaccine, a record from Public Health, or proof of vaccination from another jurisdiction. A copy or picture of the original is acceptable.
• Individuals 12 years and over who cannot receive a vaccine because of a medical exemption, will be required to show a medical certificate of exemption signed by a healthcare provider.
• Businesses where employees are unable to provide proof of vaccine can use mitigation measures such as designation to non-customer contact duties. Consider requiring testing and use of mask/physical barriers for unvaccinated employees. Employers may request rapid testing kits for their employees by complete this application form.
• In instances where proof of vaccination is required, organizations should have a written policy that includes procedures for requesting proof of vaccination and specifics on how privacy requirements will be met. Organizations should not collect or keep copies of immunization records or proof of medical of exemption. Showing proof in person or by videoconference are appropriate ways to validate. Checklists or any other documentation showing whether a person is vaccinated, unvaccinated or medically exempted needs to be stored securely. The proof of vaccination policy must be regularly reviewed and updated to stay consistent with the evolving status of the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with government regulations.
- Prior to travel, learn about any increased risks in other regions or provinces along with any travel restrictions or requirements they may have.
• Consider reducing the number of people sharing hotel accommodations, consider wearing masks when travelling in buses/airplanes and minimize social activities in the community that you are visiting.
OTHER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
- • Consider limiting the number of participants and number of spectators at your events
- • Consider limiting the number of games/ tournaments/competitions and/or adjusting the season competition schedule to limit the number of social interactions with various other groups/teams on a weekly basis (eg. double headers vs games against teams in 2 different regions in same week)
- • Where possible, consider keeping groups/teams consistent
- • Consider having staggered schedules to limit number of individuals entering/exiting at one time
- • Where possible, avoid handshakes with opponents and encourage players to have their own water bottles
- • Consider posting signage reminding participants to wear masks and maintain physical distancing where applicable; not enter premises if they feel unwell and practice proper hygiene.
- • Host virtual meetings if possible
LIVING WITH COVID-19
Core protective health measures remain important tools to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as colds and influenza. This is particularly important for our most vulnerable populations and those unvaccinated including youth under 12 who represent a major demographic within New Brunswick’s sport and recreation system.
Restrictions over the course of the pandemic have been difficult on everyone, especially the youth. More than ever system partners must strive to ensure the provision of safe supportive physical and social environments that encourage participation in recreation and sport. The elimination of some of the previously existing COVID-19 controls may signal the need for organizations to consider additional safety protocols to keep their members safe while also preserving the physical, social and mental wellbeing of New Brunswickers.
Recreation and sport organizations should assess and understand the level of risk of communicable disease transmission in their respective activities and apply appropriate measures when there’s an elevated risk of communicable disease. All are asked to foster an atmosphere where there is mutual respect and understanding and individuals are supportive of each other’s personal protective habits and risk tolerances.
By incorporating knowledge learned from living with COVID-19 with the guidance provided in the Sport and Recreation Branch Frequently Asked Questions document, sport and recreation organizations can provide activities and events while maintaining a certain level of risk mitigation to provide a healthy environment for their participants.
Organizations are responsible for implementing the measures they deem appropriate, in compliance with government regulation and directives issued through the Public Health Act, and must understand that they may be expected to abide by additional requirements determined by other organizations such as Provincial Sport Organizations, facility owners/operators, event hosts and other jurisdictions.