COVID-19 & Return to Play

PEI Vax Pass Information for the Sport and Recreation Sector

Information Bulletin #2 – October 7, 2021

Since the launch of the program on Oct 5, Sport PEI, Recreation PEI, the CPHO and the Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Division have been fielding questions related to the program.  We have worked with the CPHO to get answers to these questions.  Attached is the “Sport and Recreation Sector Bulletin #2” on the VaxPass which provides additional information on the program.  We believe this will provide greater clarity on some of the requirements.

The lessons learned through the development of operational plans last season was that consistency and cooperation were the key to having a full and successful sport season.  All groups and facilities need to be consistent in interpreting the guidance so the experience is similar for all patrons and players from facility to facility and that facility operators and minor sport user groups work together to make this happen.

We will continue to synthesize all the information from the CPHO with a sport and recreation lens. Ultimately the Public Health Order and public health measures guidance information is the guiding documents for the Vaxpass which can be found on the provincial government website.

VaxPass Events

All organized sport and recreation activities are Vaxpass events. Even though participants 18 years of age and under are considered exempt from showing their Vaxpass these are still considered Vax Pass Events. This includes training sessions, practices and games.

There is no requirement to contact trace for any Vaxpass event (participants or spectators)

Public Health Guidance for VaxPass Events

  • Cohorts must be formed of participants of up to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors
  • There is no limit on the number of cohorts*
  • Physical distancing is not required within the cohort
  • Physical distancing must be observed between cohorts. Ice cohort can’t mix with spectator cohort,
  • there should be a 2M/6Ft distance between cohorts. This is also true for any type of line up
  • (entry/exit, washrooms).
  • Non‐Medical masks are required to be worn while at indoor events. The spectators the entire time
  • they are in the facility, participants when they are moving through public areas and in change
  • They can be removed once they go to begin their activity. Non‐medical masks are not
  • required at outdoor activities.

*All arenas and facilities would have submitted an operational plan last year. The majority of them would have had three cohorts approved (1 on‐ice cohort, 1 next to go on‐ice cohort and 1 spectator cohort). Under the Vaxpass setup, you can continue to have those three cohorts with the spectator cohort now allowing you to have up to 200 spectators so long as you have space for 200 in your facility.

If you wanted to add more than 200 spectators you would be required to submit a new operational plan to envhealth@ihis.org indicating your plan for keeping the additional cohorts separated.

VaxPass Sport and Recreation Roles

  • Participant/Athlete, proof of vaccination required (those 18 years and under exempt)
  • If the group includes athletes has a combination of 18 and under and 19 and over all participants must show proof of vaccination
  • Coaches/program leaders, proof of vaccination required
  • Volunteers & Support Roles (including minor officials), proof of vaccination required
  • Referees and Officials, considered an employee, proof of vaccination not required unless stated by
  • their sport organization or the facility
  • Spectators, proof of vaccination required for those 12 and older (3‐month grace period as of their date of birth for spectators who just turn 12 years old). Under 12 are exempt.

VaxPass Timing for Arenas/Programs

  • The timing of arrivals and departures should follow the same as the operational plans from last year.
  • On‐Ice cohort, arrive 30 minutes prior to the ice time and depart within 15 minutes afterwards
  • Spectator cohort, enter the facility about 5‐10 minutes before the start time (once the spectators at the ice before your activity has vacated the facility)

Maintaining a Vaxpass List

Section 23(b) of the Public Health Act states:

with the written consent of a patron, a business, service or organization may keep a record of the fact only (not the proof of COVID‐19 vaccination or  proof of medical exemption) that a patron has provided proof of COVID‐19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption to satisfy the requirements of this Order, in relation to a patron who frequently accesses the business, service or organization. For greater certainty, a business service or organization may only keep a record of the fact recorded under this clause until this Order expires or the sections of this Order requ1nng businesses, services or organizations to require proof of vaccination or proof of medical exemption are revoked

This part of the order indicates that an organization, where there is a frequent relationship between a patron (spectator) and the organization (a team), there can be a system in place where the patron provides proof of vaccination that is verified and signed by both the patron and the verifier. This can be kept on file and used during subsequent visits (ie. Future practices and games). The organization is not allowed to keep a record of the proof of vaccination only that it has been presented, observed and verified.

This means a sport team can keep a list of consistent spectators (parents, grandparents, etc.) and have those spectators sign a form indicating the proof of vaccination has been presented, checked and confirmed. If a team or organization believes this will assist in making the position of Vaxpass checker easier/quicker, it can be a strategy that can be used. It doesn’t have to be used, but it is an option.

This document/form would then be placed in a binder and the binder would be on site each time Team ABCDE was using the facility. As spectators entered, they would only be required to indicate who they are (with ID if required) and the Vaxpass checker just needs to confirm they have already showed proof of vaccination and it has been verified. For those attending for the first time or haven’t signed and consented for the organization to keep record of their vaccination status, they would be required to show their vaccination status each time they attend.

All spectators should continue to bring their proof of vaccination to their activities on the chance that the signed consent form isn’t on site.

UPDATE from CPHO - October 4, 2021

The PEI Vax Pass program is set to come into effect at the start of the day on Tuesday October 5. Any organized sport and recreational activity are part of the Vax Pass program and as such proof of vaccination is required for all participants (a participant is defined as an individual player). Participants 18 years of age and under participating in activities that involve participants who are all 18 years of age and under are exempt from showing vaccinations. If the group has a combination of participants 18 years and under and 19 years and over, all participants are required to show their vaccine status.

Please note that all volunteers involved in an activity (regardless of age) are required to show proof of vaccination. This includes coaches, managers, program leaders, and support personnel (trainers).

Employees of businesses and organizations that offer these programs are not required to show proof of vaccination. Businesses and organizations can implement their own vaccination policies so long as they comply with the laws of PEI.

Major officials (referees) and minor officials (clock operators, game sheet workers) can either be classified as volunteers or employees depending on the nature of their involvement.

All spectators 12 years and above are required to show proof of vaccination to enter as a spectator.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from needing to provide a proof of vaccination. Children who are soon turning 12 have a three-month grace period from their birthday to get fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination should it be required (e.g. Should they be in volunteer roles or mixed groups that include participants 19 and over).

Where proof of vaccination is required, the following public health measures must be followed:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection routine (for facilities)
  • Ensure hand washing and/or hand sanitizing stations are available and accessible
  • For organized cohorts, you can have up to 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors. During short periods of interaction at entry/exit points, washrooms and concessions, physical distancing should be maintained.
  • If dealing with multiple cohorts, an operational plan is required
  • Non-medical masks are required for all indoor activities
  • There is no need to continue contract tracing (where proof of vaccination is required).

Please note: Sport organizations can enhance the Vax Pass requirements for their sport if they wish but they must adhere to the basics of the program as described above. For example, a sport can say that all their members 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated but cannot say they will not be checking vaccine status of their spectators.

 

Links to information:

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your record of vaccination

Details on the QR-Code Vaxx Pass will be provided as soon as possible. The projected launch is October 15, 2021.

UPDATE From CPHO - September 22, 2021

 

Teams travelling off-Island or to PEI for sports tournaments and competitions

Interprovincial travel is higher risk, however, borders between the Atlantic Provinces remain open at this time.  The decision to travel for interprovincial tournaments and competitions is at the discretion of individual sport associations.  If travelling, the following testing precautions are recommended:

  • All PEI participants and travellers in a tournament/competition who are not fully vaccinated should have a negative test prior to leaving PEI
  • All NB, NS, and NL participants and travellers coming to PEI and who are not fully vaccinated should be tested upon arrival in PEI
  • All PEI, NB, NS, and NL participants and travellers age 12 and older who are unvaccinated (not partially or fully vaccinated) will have to isolate for 8 days upon arrival in PEI (as per normal travel measures)
  • All PEI participants and travellers age 12 and older who are partially or fully vaccinated should get tested when they arrive back in PEI before going to school, and again on days 4 and 8
  • All PEI participants and travellers age 11 or under should get tested when they arrive back in PEI before going to school, and again on days 4 and 8

 

Testing is available at drop-in clinics in Charlottetown, Summerside, Borden, Montague, and O’Leary.  Individuals can request rapid tests at these sites if desired (for example if they have to get a test before leaving for a tournament and need a rapid response).  More information on testing is available here: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/covid-19-testing-in-pei

 

Travel information for the other Atlantic provinces:

New Brunswick:

https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19/travel.html

Nova Scotia:

https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel/

Newfoundland and Labrador

https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/travel/travel-restrictions/

 

Key Operational Guidelines

Develop an operational plan detailing methods to mitigate transmission of disease.

Take every reasonable step to ensure physical distancing (including employees and/or clients) of two metres (six feet) between each other.

Take every reasonable step required to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate from entering workplaces.

Develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities.

Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.

Ensure hand washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to all employees.

Take every reasonable step to include contact tracing in your activities.

Manage your risks/controls

  • 1 Stay home when sick
  • 2 Physical distancing
  • 3 Engineering controls – e.g., physical barriers when physical distancing is not possible
  • 4 Administrative controls – e.g., screening questionnaires before participation, waivers, declarations, contract tracing
  • 5 5. PPE – e.g., non-medical mask

Masks

Effective 8:00 am on Friday, September 17;

  • Non-medical masks will be mandatory for all Islanders in indoor places;
  • Exemptions to mandatory masks include, but are not limited to: children under the age of two years; children under the age of five years who will not wear a mask; valid medical reasons (such as active breathing problems); and anyone who cannot remove a mask without assistance.

Tournaments

Tournaments and similar events are permitted where the total number of people mixing does not exceed the organized gathering limits. https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/public-health-measures-guidance

Pre approval of the operational plan would be required  should the total number of people involved exceed gathering limits.  Expect reviews of operational plans to take 5-10 business days. All of our other guidance still applies, e.g. physical distancing etc.

 

Spectator guidance has been updated/clarified:

The number of individuals permitted to gather include any participants, volunteers and spectators present at or near the gathering. Paid staff are excluded from the gathering limit, within reason.

The count of spectators does not apply to people in vehicles or individuals who are transporting players and sitting or standing outside their cars, provided they do not mix with others.

Vigorous vocalizations such as cheering, yelling, singing, whistling, etc. that are not essential to the activity should be minimized as much as possible when in close proximity to others. This includes spectators, volunteers, staff and participants. If this is anticipated to be unavoidable, the social distance required between individuals of different households should be increased to 3.5 m or 12 ft.

Available to Organizations are various documents to support your activities, please contact Sport PEI for details:

Waiver

Assumption of Risk

COVID-19 Declaration

Remote Training Waiver