- Saskatchewan’s govt has declared that it will phase out its COVID-19 proof of immunization and masking policies over the next month.
- According to the province, evidence of vaccination records and QR codes will continue to be accessible for use during travel or in other jurisdictions.
- All Saskatchewan citizens, including those ages 12 to 17, can now receive a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, as per the province.
Saskatchewan’s government has announced that its COVID-19 proof of vaccination and masking policies will be phased out over the next month.
While a press conference on Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe announced that the proof of vaccination policy would be phased out at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 14. The masking will last until the end of February.
“We can remove this policy because it has served its purpose. Since it was implemented, our vaccination rates in the province have increased significantly,” Moe said.
Proof of vaccination records and QR codes, according to the province, will continue to be available for use during travel or in other jurisdictions.
The proof of vaccination policy, according to Moe, caused division in the province, but the benefits “did outweigh the costs.”
“Today, we’re dealing with a completely different strain, the Omicron variant, as well as the advantages of this policy no longer outweigh the costs,” Moe explained.
During what Moe called the “very severe Delta wave,” the proof of immunization or negative test policy was implemented in September.
“The COVID-19 Omicron variant is more transmissible, has a shorter incubation period, and many cases go unnoticed.” The province stated in a release that “evidence shows that a third/booster dose of vaccine provides significantly improved protection against severe illness and hospitalization.”
According to Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, residents should start visualizing how they will manage themselves and their families once these rules are removed.
“If present trends continue, there will come a time when mask use will no longer be required, and we should begin to consider what our decisions would be for ourselves and our children at work, at school,” Shahab said.
According to the province, all Saskatchewan residents, including those aged 12 to 17, can now receive a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
If eligible Saskatchewan residents have not yet been vaccinated, they are “strongly” encouraged to do so.
The premier emphasized the “continuing need” for Saskatchewan residents to take personal responsibility for COVID-19 risk assessment.
“When someone does their risk assessment, which we’ve asked them to do in this province for a while now,” Moe explained, “they’re doing it for themselves, possibly for their family, and they may come back with a different decision than what you might come up with.”
On Monday, the province dropped daily case updates and the COVID-19 dashboard, opting instead for weekly updates.
According to the province, access to PCR tests is now limited to those who have received a recommendation from HealthLine 811 and are considered “vulnerable,” according to the province.
According to Moe, mandatory self-isolation rules are linked to the expiring public health orders and will be phased out during the end of the month.
The current public health commands were set to expire at the end of February.
Source: CTV News