Despite the vaccine passport mandate issued by the provincial government on Sept. 13, several facilities in the Houston Leisure Centre are fully operational with no restrictions.
According to Director of Leisure Services Cassie Ofner, vaccine passports are only mandatory to access certain facilities. “The pool is open and available for all patrons,” she said. “Everyone is welcome into the swimming pool including patrons who live outside the Houston area Current restrictions related to the vaccine passport are only in place for the gym, all pools are exempt.”
To access the gym, visitors must show proof of at least one vaccination via the government vaccine passport which can be acquired online at https://www.healthgateway.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.
Hockey is also running at the leisure centre hockey arena, and is close to being fully operational. Ofner told Houston Today that arena staff have been working hard to get the ice in over the past week. The ice was finished being installed on Sept. 27. “Our ice season is starting on Sept. 27. The Houston Minor Hockey Association (HMHA) and Morning Hockey Association are operating once again this year.”
According to ViaSport B.C.’s return to sport program, all sport activities must follow the B.C. Government’s restart plan. The latest from the government’s COVID-19 restriction website, which was last updated on Sept. 2, all indoor and outdoor sport activities are permitted for adults and youth. This includes games, competitions and practices.
The HMHA under these rules will be allowed to participate in games once again.
According to Ofner, there will be some minor restrictions for the facility, particularly in regards to hockey games. “Capacity restrictions are currently not in place within the gym and pool space as per the Provincial Health Order. However, as part of Phase 3, Northern Health still has restrictions on indoor events and spectator events, which is either 50 people, or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is greater.”