REGINA — The provincial requirement to provide proof of vaccination or negative tests in Saskatchewan businesses, workplaces and other public venues will end this Monday, Feb, 14 at 12:01 a.m., says a news release issued Tuesday morning by the government.
The release says eHealth Saskatchewan will continue to make proof of vaccination records and QR codes available to Saskatchewan residents for use where needed including for travel or in other jurisdictions.
The remaining public health orders requiring masking in indoor public spaces will remain in effect until the end of February.
In Tuesday morning's press release, Premier Scott Moe said it's time to take the next step in living with Covid-19 and getting our lives back to normal.
"Proof of vaccination has been an effective policy, but its effectiveness has run its course," Moe said. "The benefits no longer outweigh the costs. It's time to heal the divisions over vaccination in our families, in our communities and in our province. It's time for proof of vaccination requirements to end."
Moe said vaccines and rapid test kits will continue to be widely accessible throughout the province.
"As we shift to living with COVID-19, there is a continuing need for personal responsibility for self-monitoring, self-testing and self-management," Moe said. "It will be important for individuals to assess their own risk and comfort levels, and to take appropriate action if they are unwell."
Residents are encouraged by the Saskatchewan government to continue to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including wearing your best mask, taking advantage of free rapid testing, regular handwashing, staying home when ill and getting vaccinated, including your third/booster dose as soon as you are eligible.
In other news from Thursday's release, all Saskatchewan residents 12 to 17 years of age are now able to receive a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effective immediately.
The Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA booster will be offered at least five months following the completion of the primary series of vaccinations to all adolescents in this age cohort.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more transmissible and has a shorter incubation period with many cases remaining asymptomatic. Evidence is showing greatly enhanced protection against severe illness and hospitalization with a third/booster dose of vaccine.
Previously the additional dose was only available for adolescents who are immunocompromised or have other health conditions and could be administered three months after receiving their primary series of vaccinations. Information on eligibility for 12 to 17 year olds with medical conditions is available at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine/vaccine-delivery-phases.
All Saskatchewan residents are strongly encouraged by the provincial government to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and all residents 12+ are eligible for a third/booster dose.
Information about Saskatchewan Health Authority vaccine clinics and participating pharmacies is available at Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.