Everyone participating in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games next February will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 said a Friday a news release from the BC Games .
The BC Games Society Board of Directors has announced the proof of vaccination requirement to help maximize the safety of athletes, coaches, officials, staff, volunteers, and spectators.
“As this multisport event will attract people from every region of the province, we must take appropriate actions and precautions to help minimize the health risks for all participants,” said Jamey Paterson, Chair of the BC Games Society Board of Directors.
“We look forward to providing a safe environment as we return to staging these provincial sport events.”
The BC Games said as Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone age 12 and older, this proof of full vaccination requirement applies to all accredited BC Games participants, volunteers, and guests.
There are no exceptions.
Full vaccination means 14 days after receiving a second dose. A negative COVID-19 test is not a substitute for proof of full vaccination.
The BC Games Society is optimistic that youth under the age of 12 will be able to receive a Health Canada-approved vaccine in the near future, which will allow athletes in this age category to be fully vaccinated and eligible to participate in the Games.
The BC Games Society continues to work with the local host society as well as provincial and local public health officials to make sure COVID-19 safety protocols are in place for the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games. The BC Games Society and the host society will also work in partnership with Games venue owners to align vaccination policies for contractors working within the venues.
“We recognize this is a new measure for all participants of the BC Winter Games,” said Alison Noble, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we need to adjust our policies to make sure the Games are safe for everyone.”
This will be the first BC Winter Games to be held since the pandemic began. The community of Greater Vernon is excited to welcome participants from across the province for an exceptional sport experience.
In addition to the proof of full vaccination requirement, robust safety measures will be in place in terms of operational modifications, mask wearing, sanitizing and physical distancing for all participants. Policies for spectators and accredited guests are being developed in terms of venue capacity, however the proof of full vaccination requirement extends to these individuals as well.
The Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games will be held February 24 to 27, 2022. 1,800 athletes, coaches, and officials from communities across B.C. are expected. As many as 2,000 volunteers will be needed for the Games.
The BC Games Society will be monitoring all provincial and local Public Health Orders in the coming months to determine vaccination requirements for the Prince George 2022 BC Summer Games.