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Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program adopted for City recreation and culture facilities

September 17, 2021 12:19 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City of Red Deer will adopt the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program, effective Monday, September 20, 2021. The program will apply at all City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities.

On September 15, 2021, the Government of Alberta declared a State of Public Health Emergency due to the rising hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19. As a result, they are implementing province-wide restrictions in an effort to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

In order to continue providing recreation and culture opportunities in a safe and responsible way, The City has decided to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program for all City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities.

Starting September 20, all vaccine-eligible visitors to City owned and operated recreation and culture facilities will require proof of vaccination, medical exemption or a negative rapid test result within 72 hours of a visit to facilities. From September 20 to October 25, proof of a single dose is considered acceptable as long as the dose was given more than two weeks before visiting facilities. After October 25, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required.

“As with all of the decisions we have made through our pandemic response, this one was not made lightly or easily,” says Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “Ultimately, if we didn’t implement the program, we would be subject to additional restrictions that would significantly limit access and program options in our facilities. Our goal remains providing safe and accessible recreation opportunities, while also ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, customers and visitors.”

Acknowledging that not all Red Deerians may be able to immediately access their proof of vaccination, The City will allow access to facilities from Monday, September 20 to Monday, September 27 with verbal confirmation of vaccination. 

“We recognize that not everyone will agree with this approach,” said McKee. “Our focus remains protecting the health and safety of our community in the best way that we can with the information and guidance we have today. Please remember to be kind and respectful to one another, and to our staff when you visit our facilities.”

The Restrictions Exemption Program also applies to all leaseholder spaces within City facilities. Lease holders will be responsible for sharing these new requirements with their customers. Third-party operators (e.g., River Bend, Bower Ponds, Heritage Ranch, Neighbourhood Activity Centres, etc.) will make their own decisions regarding their operations. Rental permit holders for City operated recreation and culture facilities will be responsible for sharing recreation facility requirements with their memberships and visiting teams. For organized sports, please check with your sport organization for more information about specific requirements.   

As mandated by the Government of Alberta, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Therefore, all visitors are required to wear a mask in City facilities, unless actively participating in activities. Effective September 20, anyone unable to wear a mask will be required to provide a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional. More information about mask exemptions is available at alberta.ca/masks

Refunds are available for customers who would like to pause or cancel their monthly pass or program registration. Please contact recreation@reddeer.ca or 403-309-8411 to request a refund.

Please visit www.reddeer.ca/RecUpdate for more information about the Restrictions Exemption Program at our facilities, and the Government of Alberta's website for full details on the September 15 provincial announcement. https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx

For an updated list of frequently asked questions, visit reddeer.ca/recupdate.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications

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