Anyone participating in a Hockey Canada event must be fully vaccinated, the organization announced this week.
The policy, which came into effect Oct. 16, covers any “Hockey Canada controlled event or activity hosted in Canada” and applies to “participants, volunteers, and spectators at all activities relating to national or international events and camps, national programs, and attendees at national meetings.”
The vaccine mandate does not apply to children who are not yet eligible for a vaccine. Those who are eligible must have received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine, with the last shot at least 14 days prior. In addition, all vendors and services contracted by Hockey Canada, such hotels, arenas, bus companies, restaurants, must ensure that their staff are fully vaccinated or provide, at their own cost, negative COVID-19 tests.
While players must be vaccinated to take part in official Hockey Canada events, they do not need to be vaccinate to play or practice as part of a minor hockey association or league. However, Hockey Canada has updated its guidance and now “strong recommends,” instead of simply encouraging, all participants to be vaccinated.
“Hockey Canada’s stakeholders, including its Members, Minor Hockey Associations, Leagues and Teams must, at a minimum, follow the advice of their provincial and/or regional public health authority regarding the standards specific to the prevention of COVID-19 which must be met to engage in hockey activities, and which may include vaccinations in some jurisdictions,” the organization stated on its website.
Official Health Canada teams include the national men’s, women’s, juniors and para teams, the national women’s development team and the national men’s and women’s U18 teams.