REGINA — Businesses across the province will be adding a new step to their daily routines Friday, as customers will be required to present proof of COVID vaccination to enter certain indoor public spaces due to the provincial mandate.
As announced several weeks ago, the public health order mandating that businesses and event venues check visitors for proof of full vaccination or an accepted negative test will come into effect at midnight on Oct. 1.
The order applies to non-essential businesses, which includes restaurants not classified as fast food businesses and all establishments that serve alcohol, as well as fitness centres, gyms, and any sporting venue hosting professional, tickets events.
Public venues including theatres, cinemas, bingo halls, casinos, and live music venues will also be requiring proof of vaccination before entry.
Spaces exempt from the order include most retail businesses, places of worship, public libraries, hotels and facilities hosting amateur sporting events and recreational leagues.
Private indoor gatherings, both in public venues and private residences, are also exempt.
Some private businesses not included on the province's list have also said they will be joining the mandate, as a personal choice for customers' safety.
Sask. residents are currently able to provide proof of vaccination in several ways, with the recent release of the new QR code scanning app from the province.
Vaccine certificates, with or without the QR code, are accepted in both print and digital forms, or residents can produce their wallet card issued at the time of vaccination or a vaccine printout from public health.
For those who are not fully vaccinated, proof of a negative test will also be accepted, provided it meets a set of specific requirements.
The test result must be from the last 72 hours, and it cannot be a self-administered rapid antigen test. Lab-processed rapid antigen test and PCR tests will be accepted.
Public health announced previously that it will no longer be providing asymptomatic testing at public testing sites, to preserve resources. Residents will instead have to seek testing from private labs in the province, at their own expense.
The proof of vaccination policy also comes into place for all government workers, including ministry, Crown and agency employees.