Effective Friday, October 1, 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result will be required in Saskatchewan for public access to a range of businesses, event venues, as well as for all Government of Saskatchewan ministry, crown and agency employees.
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations – Regulations under The Public Employers’ Covid-19 Emergency Regulations come into force on October 1 where public employers will require their employees to make a choice to show proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result at least every seven days. A negative test result is also required for partially vaccinated individuals.
Employers outside the public service can voluntarily opt in should they wish to implement a proof of vaccination or negative test policy for employees. More information on The Employers’ COVID-19 Emergency Regulations are at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-for-businesses-and-workers/proof-of-vaccination-information-for-businesses.
The cost for all proof of negative test results for asymptomatic testing will be the responsibility of the individual. Proof of vaccination for all Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) employees will also begin implementation on October 1, with a phased approach. The need for this policy is a result of the significant risks mounting from the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant and a necessary step to protect health care teams, patients and residents and to preserve health care services. More details will be provided later this week by the SHA to all health care staff, contractors and others affected by this policy. Health care workers who do not provide proof of vaccination will be required to participate in a monitored testing program at their cost, unless they have received an approved accommodation based on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.
A note of caution that some individuals are obtaining affidavits indicating they are exempt from vaccination. Vaccinations are not mandatory in Saskatchewan and individuals may refuse to be vaccinated, therefore legal affidavits are not required and will not provide an exemption. If a proof of vaccination is not provided, proof of a negative COVID 19 test must be presented to access a designated business. The only acceptable forms of proof of vaccination are:
• Wallet cards received at time of immunization
• A printed copy of your MySaskHealthRecord (MSHR) vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code)• A screenshot of your MSHR vaccine certificate (with or without a QR code) saved to your device
• An earlier version of your MSHR COVID-19 vaccine certificate
• A COVID-19 vaccine printout from Saskatchewan Health Authority Public Health
• To come – A QR code/MySaskHealthRecord vaccine certificate uploaded to SK Vax Wallet
The QR Codes in vaccine records from MSHR were temporarily removed on Friday September 24 because of potential privacy concerns. The issue has been resolved and QR codes are again available in MSHR. Any QR codes that were saved/printed or captured prior to Tuesday should be deleted or destroyed as they have been made invalid and new QR codes must be retrieved from your MSHR account.
Businesses requiring proof of vaccination will also require ID from anyone 18 and older. Youth aged 12-17 will also need to show ID unless accompanied by an adult with proof of vaccination and ID. Youth aged 12 to 17, visiting a business without an adult, who do not have photo identification will be allowed to present other forms of government issued identification such as birth certificate or health services card.
Proof of a Negative Test – Individuals who do not have proof of vaccination have the option of providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from within the previous 72 hours.
Effective immediately the SHA will not be providing testing for asymptomatic individuals, giving priority to those presenting with symptoms, unless identified as a close contact, have had a positive rapid antigen test, identified as part of an outbreak situation or requiring transfer or admission to long-term care, primary care, social services or intensive care units.
A self-administered take-home rapid antigen test will not be accepted as valid proof of negative COVID-19 test results. Individuals requiring a negative test result have several private options on the market that will provide a rapid antigen test or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for a fee.
A current list of locations and labs offering testing services is available https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/testing-information/where.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain the best defense to prevent serious illness and hospitalizations. The Saskatchewan Health Authority and pharmacies throughout the province continue to provide vaccination clinics. To find a clinic near you, go to www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine.