Toronto is going a step further than the Government of Ontario and requiring all athletes age 12 and up to be fully vaccinated to play indoor sports this fall.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa issued a Letter of Instruction on Friday stating players, coaches, and officials need to provide proof of immunization starting November 1.
“This additional measure is necessary to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 for all who play or attend organized sport indoors, to protect our communities, and to keep vital sport and recreation opportunities as safe as possible,” the City of Toronto said in a news release.
Ontario currently has a vaccine passport exemption allowing individuals under 18 to continue participating in sports without being vaccinated. The exemption does not apply to spectators.
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Starting next month, stricter rules will apply within the boundaries of Toronto.
“Sports activities, by nature and particularly while indoors, increase close contact with other participants. Heavy breathing without masks may expose individuals to aerosols and droplets and can result in prolonged exposure in indoor spaces, especially when ventilation is not optimized,” the City said.
It added that health workers have investigated many cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 associated with indoor organized sports since the start of the pandemic, and public health believes mandating vaccination will mitigate risk.