The new health order mandating proof of vaccination comes into effect next Monday October 18th in Saskatchewan and the City of Lloydminster.

The order requires personal identification along with approved proof of COVID immunization to enter public non-essential businesses. This excludes private gatherings, places of worship and retail stores like groceries. A valid negative COVID-19 test administered within the previous 72 hours will also be accepted.

The list of venues includes restaurants, nightclubs, bars, liquor and cannabis stores, theatres, cinemas, concert venues, gambling and gaming establishments, facilities having ticketed sports events, as well as fitness centres and gyms.

Health officials say that businesses will have the next few days to get set up with the relevant app to read QR codes.

Marlo Pritchard president of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency says also they are taking a multi-layered approach to the COVID fight, as they are requesting four million rapid test kits from the federal supplies every month. He gives more details on the list of operations included with the new health order.

“Proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required to access seated dining in all restaurants including fast food restaurants, liquor manufacturers conducting retail liquor sales and liquor sales with an integrated permit that also hold a liquor restaurant or tavern permit and at point of entry when paying for, placing and picking up orders at liquor and cannabis stores that require proof of vaccination or negative test.”

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says when it comes to using the QR code Verifier app, he has had no difficulty even at private functions that he has attended.

“I’ve downloaded the verifier app. So have many of my friends and when they have get togethers, they only invite vaccinated friends and family. They will use the verifier app to check each other’s vaccination codes and it’s a seamless process.”

Shahab says they will continue to observe case count numbers in the wake of Thanksgiving celebrations and he will issue future recommendations depending on the movement of COVID case counts.

Full details of the new public health order can be found on the government’s website.