Q: Why was this proof of vaccination requirement put in place?

A: As Saskatchewan returns to live sport events amidst continuing cases of COVID-19, the health and safety of all participants is of utmost importance to the Saskatchewan Games Council and the 2023 Saskatchewan Winter Games Host Organization. The requirement that all participants of the 2023 Saskatchewan Winter Games provide proof of full vaccination was determined through extensive stakeholder and medical consultation and is in line with best practices set out by sport organizations and other events in Saskatchewan and across the country.

Q: I am currently participating in a sport that is included in the Games, and I am not required to have a proof of vaccination to compete as per my Provincial Sport Organization’s rules. Why is this competition different? 

A: The opportunity for virus spread, especially COVID-19 variants, in a Games environment is higher than an individual sport competition. At a multi-sport event such as the Saskatchewan Winter Games, participants will spend extended amounts of time travelling to and from the Games on buses, participants will be sharing accommodations and washroom facilities, dozens of participants will be dining together in the athlete’s village, and other events such as Opening and Closing Ceremonies will see participants spend extended time indoors with limited ability to physically distance.

Q: What events will require mandatory proof of vaccination for spectators?

A: All events, including sport competitions and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, will require proof of vaccination for spectators 5 years of age or older. A vaccine series was approved on November 19, 2021 by Health Canada and is available for youth aged 5-11. 

Q: Will athletes under the age of 12 still be able to participate in the Games?

A: Health Canada approved a vaccine series for youth aged 5-11on November 19, 2021 and those under the age of 12 will be eligible to participate if they meet the fully vaccinated requirements. 

Q: What is accepted proof of vaccination?

A: Accepted proof of COVID-19 vaccination includes:

  • mySaskHealth record (E-Health Saskatchewan)
    • Printed or a screenshot 
  • A copy of the proof of vaccination card given at the time of receiving vaccination that clearly outlines two doses received and the dates received. Name on card must match the registration information.    
  • Scanned and verified QR Code or vaccine certificate uploaded to SK Vax Wallet 
  • Personal identification will also be required to match the name and date of birth on your proof of vaccination document and/or the scanned QR Code.

Q: Who is considered fully vaccinated?

A: An individual is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if at least 14 days have passed since the individual has received their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 immunization series or 14 days or more after first dose of a single-dose immunization series. Individuals must provide proof of full vaccination prior to their participation in the Games. More information can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website HERE.

Q: Will my proof of vaccination be collected and stored?

A: For Games participants (athletes, coaches, managers, mission staff, and officials), vaccination status information will be collected for verification purposes as part of the participant registration. It will not be stored. Upon verification of vaccination status by an approved Games administrator, all Games participant data related to vaccination status will be deleted. Once an individual’s vaccination status has been verified, there is no further need for retention of such records. Privacy of this information is of utmost importance and will only be viewed by the administrator assigned to verify your vaccination status. For volunteers, spectators, and other attendees, no vaccination information will be collected or stored as the eHealth Saskatchewan QR Code and Sask Vax Verifier will be used to verify proof of vaccination.

Q: Do I need to continue wearing a mask after I receive my vaccination?

A: At the present time, the Saskatchewan Games Council has implemented an indoor masking policy for the 2022 Saskatchewan Winter Games. Participants will not be required to wear masks when actively engaging in competition. As per the current public health order, masks will not be required while outdoors when social distancing of at least two metres can be maintained. All considerations and protocols concerning the health and safety of Games participants are subject to change in the coming months as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Q: Are there any exemptions to the proof of vaccination requirement due to medical reasons? What proof is required?

A: Due to the serious health threat COVID-19 presents to the public and to an unvaccinated population, anyone covered by this policy seeking accommodation is required by law to self-identify the specific prohibited ground of discrimination they believe vaccination would infringe as well as participate in the accommodation process, including, but not limited to, providing information to establish the existence of a protected grounds, related restrictions, and possible methods of accommodation. To discuss possible exemptions and related accommodation under this Policy, please contact the Saskatchewan Games Council.

Q: What happens if I ignore this requirement, or provide false or fraudulent documentation?

A: Individuals who do not provide proof of vaccination or who have not received a completed series of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine will not be eligible to participate in the 2023 Saskatchewan Winter Games until such time they present satisfactory evidence that they are fully vaccinated. Individuals providing false or fraudulent documentation will be restricted from participation in or attendance at the Games.

Q: Can I simply provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to be eligible to participate in or attend the Games?

A: No. There are no allowances for proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the current Saskatchewan Games Council policy. 

Q. Why do spectators and volunteers have to be vaccinated?

A: The Saskatchewan Games Council and 2023 Saskatchewan Winter Games Host are committed to providing the safest event possible for all who attend and participate. The potential of unvaccinated spectators or volunteers becoming in contact with athletes, coaches, or technical officials is high, and these measures mitigate the unacceptable risk of COVID-19 transmission between unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals attending and participating in the Games.