Saskatchewan followed Alberta’s lead and lifted virtually all remaining restrictions in exchange for the vaccine passport scheme. In August, Premier Scott Moe had stated that the province would not be implanting a vaccine mandate. Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta also stated in July that his province would not be bringing in any vaccine certification policy for citizens.
“As a province, and as a government, we have been very patient. Possibly too patient.” Moe said Thursday in reference to the unvaccinated. “These are not measures we wanted to implement — and as a government we have been patient in providing the opportunity and access to get vaccinations — but that patience has come to an end.”
Effective October 1, proof of vaccination or of a negative test will be implemented for public access at venues including:
- Indoor dining at restaurants;
- Nightclubs, bars, taverns and other licensed establishments;
- Event and entertainment venues, including conference centres, casinos, movie theatres, concert venues, live-music venues, museums, and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events;
- Indoor fitness centres, and gyms.
Proof of vaccination will not be required, for now, for the following:
- Retail businesses, including grocery stores;
- Places of worship;
- Fast food restaurants offering takeout and delivery;
- Health care services, professional services, or personal services;
- Hotels or other lodging;
- Facilities hosting non-ticketed amateur sporting events, including youth athletics and recreational leagues;
- Business meetings and places of business closed to the general public, unless otherwise directed by the business or employer;
- Private gatherings held at an indoor public residence.
The premier said, “The choice to not get vaccinated is creating consequences for others and I would say very soon, it is going to create consequences for those who have made the decision to remain unvaccinated.” It is not clear if he meant that the unvaccinated would face the consequences of not accessing certain services, or if he was intimating they would become ill.
Saskatchewan is also bringing back mandatory masking for indoor settings. Residents of Saskatchewan will be able to present a negative test in lieu of vaccination certification, but there has been no talk thus far of whether natural immunity will be taken into account, as it has in European jurisdictions that have brought in “green passes.”
The government of Saskatchewan will be working to immediately expand access to rapid-antigen tests for home-based self-administration screenings. This means that residents will be able to use rapid tests and not have to rely on the dubious PCR test.
Premier Moe blamed the “fourth wave” on the unvaccinated, saying, “But unlike previous waves, this wave of the pandemic is being driven almost entirely by one group that consists of about 20 to 30 per cent of our population: those that have made the choice to remain unvaccinated.”
He provided no context or evidence for this claim, but recent numbers suggest that cases are being found in high numbers in children under the vaccination age, which are included in the overall count of “unvaccinated.”
He went on to say: “The choice to not get vaccinated … is now seriously impacting those who did do the right thing. And it is now seriously impacting those who cannot get vaccinated: our children.”
Studies have emphasized the strength of natural immunity, which has been proven to be as much as 20 times more powerful than vaccine-induced immunity. There was no indication of whether those who chose to remain unvaccinated had already survived the disease, which would mean they could not be easily said to have been spreading the disease.
There has been no evidence that COVID proves any more dangerous to children than a cold or the flu, with some experts claiming it is less serious. At the same time, lockdowns have done grave harm to children, including increases in suicide numbers and other mental health issues.