Saskatchewan Roughriders, Edmonton Elks latest teams to require vaccination proof, neg test for fans

TORONTO — The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Elks are the two latest teams to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for fans attending their games.

The two West Division clubs issued almost simultaneous statements on Monday, announcing their newest protocols. The Riders’ policies are being targeted for their Sept. 17 game against the Toronto Argonauts. Their release is below:

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will require fans to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or provide a negative COVID-19 test result to attend home games at Mosaic Stadium with a targeted start date of September 17th.

Through the course of the pandemic, the Club has relied on the expertise of provincial health officials to guide the team as it re-opened Mosaic Stadium to fans at the beginning of August. Since that time, cases in Saskatchewan have risen significantly and the contagious nature of the Delta variant has become a concern both to the club and to public health experts regularly advising us.

“In consultations with local medical health officers this past week, they voiced their support to begin requiring proof of vaccination at Roughrider games,” said President and CEO Craig Reynolds. “After speaking with our stakeholders, including the City of Regina — our stadium owner, REAL — our stadium operator, and the CFL, we decided that this is the right decision for our Club and for our fans.”

Fans under the age of 12, who are currently unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, will be exempt from the vaccination requirement. A negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the start of the game will also be accepted for partially vaccinated adults or those who may be unable to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons.

“We continue to strongly encourage all of our fans to get fully vaccinated for the safety of themselves and others and to wear masks to our games as an extra layer of protection,” Reynolds said.

Over the next several weeks the club will work on the logistics of how to accept proof of vaccination while working closely with the SHA, REAL and provincial health officials. As the club is early in this process, details are currently not available, but will be shared as soon as they have been finalized.

The Elks will aim to implement their policy for their game on Oct. 15 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Elks’ statement is below:

Fans attending Edmonton Elks games at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will need to be fully vaccinated, or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, beginning with the club’s home game on Friday, October 15.

The news was announced Monday by the Elks. The club has been working with the City of Edmonton on implementation planning.

If a ticket holder can’t provide proof of full vaccination, they will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, collected within 48 hours of the game’s scheduled start time. Fans 12 and under will be exempt from these requirements.

All Elks business operations and front office employees will be required to be fully vaccinated. Any Elks game day staff, along with stadium and event staff, will be subject to the same game day requirements as fans (proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test). Over the next few weeks, additional reviews and approvals may be required.

As we continue to navigate the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, the Elks believe this policy is essential to delivering a safe environment for our fans and staff, as we continue to play an important role in our bringing our community together.

Further details on implementation will be provided in the coming weeks.

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