The organization responsible for university sports in Atlantic Canada requires participants to have a full vaccination, unless an exemption has been granted.
In a media release Thursday, Atlantic University Sport announced that those without exception will need two doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the AUS-sanctioned competition.
Executive Director Phil Currie says health and safety are a priority.
“As our communities get used to living with COVID-19, we feel obliged to do everything in our power to protect the health of our student athletes, coaching teams, fans and other stakeholders,” Currie said in the press release. “We are confident that these measures are the right ones to keep our participants and our communities safe.”
Dalhousie, Acadia, Cape Breton, Memorial, Mount Allison, Moncton, UNB, UPEI, Saint Mary’s, St. Francis Xavier and St. Thomas are the Atlantic schools with some involvement in AUS.
New policy takes effect on Friday
The new policy, which begins Friday, extends to student athletes, coaches, team members, officials, minor officials, and match day staff.
Participants who are within 14 days of receiving the second dose can participate, but only if they can demonstrate a negative rapid test result the day before the competition. In addition, they must provide evidence of a negative rapid test result within 48 hours of the competition.
Individuals with approved vaccination exemptions “for medical or human rights reasons” must be tested at least twice a week in addition to the other testing requirements.
Spectators participating in games are also expected to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.
In an interview on Thursday afternoon, Currie said the pandemic had hit student athletes hard, both mentally and physically, so he’s excited to see them compete again.
“They prepare, they train, they work very hard to compete and when that is taken from them it’s a very difficult thing,” he said. “Returning to competition is critical to the overall health and wholeness of our student-athletes.”
The new guidelines are slated to run through 2022, but the AUS says it will continue to oversee the provincial public health guidelines and guidelines.