by News staff
Posted Oct 8, 2021 11:09 am EDT
Last Updated Oct 8, 2021 at 11:18 am EDT
Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa speaks to the media at city hall in Toronto, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. De Villa wants the Ontario government to stop letting students skip their vaccines on philosophical or religious grounds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Citing the increased risk of infection from the COVID-19 Delta variant, Toronto Public Health issued a letter of instruction Friday requiring proof of vaccination for all people aged 12 and over participating in indoor, organized sports.
“Sports activities, by their very nature and particularly while indoors, increase close contact with other participants,” Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa wrote.
“Toronto Public Health has investigated many cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 related to organized sports since the start of the pandemic. Promoting and verifying proof of vaccination for all participants eligible for vaccination, including coaches and volunteers, are important steps to mitigating these risks.”
The new rule goes into effect on Monday, November 1, 2021, and applies to any person 12 or older who attends an indoor area of a facility for the purpose of:
- Actively participating in organized sports
- Coaching, caregiving at, volunteering at, or officiating organized sports
Proof of vaccination, or a valid medical exemption, will be required each time a facility is entered.
The letter puts the onus on businesses and organizations with indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities to put the policy into effect.
Anyone violating it can be fined under the Reopening Ontario Act, which gives municipalities the flexibility to augment rules set out by the province.