BY
The Canada Games Council

Canada Games Council Statement on the Removal of the Policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for 2023 Canada Winter Games

BY
The Canada Games Council

Canada Games Council Statement on the Removal of the Policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for 2023 Canada Winter Games

Ottawa, ON (November 23, 2022) –The Canada Games Council (CGC) has removed its Policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for accredited individuals ahead of the upcoming 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.

The decision was made following a review of the policy alongside the Chief Public Health Office of Prince Edward Island, and in consultation with government, provincial/territorial team and national sport organization stakeholders and the 2023 Canada Games Host Society.

Although COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required by the CGC for accredited individuals at the Canada Games in 2023, it is strongly recommended. Individuals should verify with their respective provincial/territorial teams or organizations for any independent policies that may be in place.

The 2023 Host Society is also removing its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for  staff, contractors and volunteers.

The Chief Public Health Office of PEI recommends that all participants and attendees at the 2023 Canada Winter Games be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination series, including a booster dose within the past 6 months. This recommendation also applies to all routine vaccinations, as well as seasonal influenza.

Public health authorities emphasize that vaccination continues to be a key component in the prevention and transmission of communicable diseases and reduces the burden of severe illness.

Since being implemented in November 2021, the vaccination policy has been under continuous review, in consultation with Host Societies, Games stakeholders and regional public health authorities as the pandemic has evolved. All accredited athletes, coaches, managers, technical officials, participant assistants, venue pass holders, mission staff, guests and media were subject to this policy.

The CGC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the 2023 Host Society and our key stakeholders. The 2023 Host Society is actively working with the Chief Public Health Office of PEI on infectious disease prevention and control strategies.

The 2023 Canada Games Host Society, CGC, and all Games participants will comply with any applicable requirements, regulations or mandates that may be implemented by the Chief Public Health Office of PEI in order to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved and deliver a safe and successful Canada Winter Games in 2023.

About the Canada Games Council

The Canada Games Council, a private, non-profit organization, is the governing body for the Canada Games. Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. The Games have been hosted in every province at least once since their inception in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The Games are proud of their contribution to Canada’s sport development system, in addition to their lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride and national unity. The organization of the Canada Games is made possible through the tireless dedication of local Host Societies and the contribution and support of the federal, provincial/territorial and host municipal governments.

The office is located in Ottawa, Ontario, on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabek People.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the CGC’s COVID-19 vaccination policy being removed for the 2023 Canada Games?

Since being implemented in November 2021, the CGC’s vaccination policy has been under continuous review, in consultation with Host Societies, Games stakeholders and regional public health authorities as the pandemic has evolved.

The decision to remove the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy was made in November 2022 following a review of the policy alongside the Chief Public Health Office for Prince Edward Island.

While COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required by CGC for accredited individuals at the 2023 Canada Winter Games, it is strongly recommended.

The Chief Public Health Office of Prince Edward Island has recommended that all participants and attendees should be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination series, including a booster dose within the past 6 months. This recommendation also applies to routine vaccinations and seasonal influenza.

Who did this vaccination policy apply to?

This vaccination policy applied to all accredited individuals attending the 2022 and 2023 Canada Games, including athletes, coaches, managers, technical officials, participant assistants, venue pass holders, mission staff, guests and media.

Individuals should verify with their respective provincial/territorial teams or organizations for any independent policies or requirements that may be in place.

The 2023 Host Society is also removing its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for  staff, contractors and volunteers.

Why did accredited individuals have to be vaccinated for the 2022 Canada Summer Games but not the 2023 Canada Winter Games?

These decisions were made based on guidance from the appropriate regional public health authorities.

The policy remained in effect for the 2022 Canada Summer Games based on the recommendation of Niagara Region Public Health, citing the data on COVID-19 detection in Ontario at the time (wastewater surveillance trends showed an increase in COVID-19 detection, indicating a potential increase in infection risk).

The policy is being removed ahead of the 2023 Canada Games after a review alongside the Chief Public Health Office of Prince Edward Island. While COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required by the Canada Games Council for accredited individuals at the 2023 Canada Winter Games, it is strongly recommended.

Are there any public health requirements for the 2023 Canada Winter Games?

Attendees of the 2023 Canada Winter Games will be subject to the public health requirements of the Chief Public Health Office of Prince Edward Island, as well as any public health policies of the host venues at the time of the Games.

Individuals should verify with their respective provincial/territorial teams or organizations for any independent policies or requirements that may be in place.

The CGC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the 2023 Host Society and our key stakeholders. The 2023 Host Society is working with the Chief Public Health Office of PEI on infectious disease prevention and control strategies.

The 2023 Canada Games Host Society, CGC, and all Games participants will comply with any applicable requirements, regulations or mandates that may be implemented by the Chief Public Health Office of PEI in order to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved and deliver a safe and successful Canada Winter Games in 2023.

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