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Canada  

Saskatchewan to require proof of COVID vaccination to try to increase uptake: premier

Sask. bringing in passports

Saskatchewan will be bringing in a proof of vaccination program in an attempt to increase the number of people immunized against COVID-19.

Premier Scott Moe made the announcement on his social media accounts Thursday.

He said the policy is expected to come into effect Oct. 1 and will apply to businesses, establishments and event venues, but will exclude civil services.

People will have to show proof of vaccination or show a negative test.

Moe also said all government employees of Crown corporations and in ministries will be required to be vaccinated or consistently show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

He is also reinstating a provincewide mask mandate for all indoor public places, which he said could be lifted by late October.

"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," Moe said in a video posted on social media.

"The vast majority of Saskatchewan people have grown tired of the reckless decisions of the unvaccinated that are now driving our fourth wave."

Moe had previously said he would not bring in vaccination passports and that getting a shot was a personal choice.

"As a province, and as a government, we have been very patient. Possibly too patient," he said.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who had also been adamant that he would not require proof of vaccinations, on Wednesday announced he was bringing in a similar program.

Saskatchewan is the last province in Western Canada to implement such a policy.

Moe was to be joined by the province's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, at a news conference later Thursday, when more details were expected to be released.

On Wednesday, the province reported 475 new cases, 22 per cent of which were in children under the age of 12, who are ineligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.



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