BC Rugby Introduces COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy
October 14, 2021 – Vancouver: BC Rugby is introducing a COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy, in conjunction with Rugby Canada and other provincial unions, for all BC Rugby participants. The Policy has been introduced to ensure the safety of all BC Rugby participants, the Rugby community, and the general public.
The Policy has been approved by the BC Rugby Board and comes into effect as of October 27, 2021, following a two-week grace period. The Policy requires all BC Rugby Members aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated to participate in any sanctioned in-person Rugby activity, including indoor and outdoor training, scrimmages, matches and education courses. This applies to all players, coaches, officials, team staff and volunteers but excludes spectators.
The Policy can be viewed here.
“This is an important decision by the BC Rugby Board and its unanimous approval reflects the priority we want to put on safety for everyone participating in Rugby. I’d like to acknowledge the broad support we’ve received from regional leaders and Member Clubs in the lead-up discussions around this Policy. They recognised the need to have fully vaccinated participants in BC Rugby’s sanctioned activities and they made it clear to us that it was important to implement this Policy as soon as we could.” BC Rugby President Mark Lewis
“As it has been since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of all participants within our game has been our primary focus during these challenging times. We support BC Rugby in their enactment of a mandatory vaccination policy that aims to increase the safety of all participants, from players to coaches to officials.” Rugby Canada Senior Director of Community Rugby and Development Paul Hunter
Why We Are Introducing the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine Policy
Rugby in BC has been heavily disrupted over the past two years. As the sport returns to full-contact play, this Policy is intended to get ahead of further anticipated restrictions and ensure minimal interruption to leagues and programs.
The Policy holds all Clubs to the same requirements, allowing any Clubs located in regions with tougher restrictions to still welcome opponents to their home fields. Moving into the winter months, this Policy ensures all Clubs will be able to safely train indoors in compliance with the current Provincial Health Order and Regional Health Orders.
A process will be provided for people wishing to apply for an exemption to be fully vaccinated based on medical or religious belief or creed grounds. BC Rugby will not be issuing refunds based on this Policy. A separate Policy is being drawn up that will hold BC Rugby employees to this same standard.
NEXT STEPS: WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
BC Rugby has worked closely with Rugby Canada and Sportlomo to provide several options for Clubs and Members to comply with this Policy.
Members will be given the option to upload their proof of vaccination through their Sportlomo user account or present proof of vaccination to their Club’s COVID Safety Officer to be verified using the BC Vaccine Card Verifier App. With the Member’s written consent, a record of verification will be made in their Sportlomo account by BC Rugby, then deleting the verified proof of vaccination. If Members don’t wish a record to be kept, they may choose to present proof of vaccination to be verified at every in-person Rugby activity.
In the coming days, BC Rugby will be publishing detailed step-by-step guides and information on the BC Rugby website and social media channels on how Members can verify their COVID-19 Vaccination status.
Any participant aged 12 and over who has not provided proof of being fully vaccinated by October 27, 2021 will have their registration status switched to “approval pending” and will not be permitted to participate until they can comply with the policy or until they receive an exemption.
For information on how to get vaccinated for COVID-19, visit the BC Government Website.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BC RUGBY
The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 4,000 individuals registered through around 60 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.
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