By Dale Woodard on September 18, 2021.
Vaccination or proof of a negative test will soon be mandatory to attend ticketed Enmax Centre events
The City of Lethbridge, in consultation with Enmax Centre staff and venue partners, will be implementing the Government of Alberta’s recent restriction exemption program in preparation for live events, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Onhand with Lethbridge Hurricanes general manager Peter Anholt at the announcement Friday morning, Enmax Centre general manager Kim Gallucci said restrictions will kick in Monday.
“This COVID protocol, along with the other COVID operational changes, are focused on ensuring the health and safety of the community, our staff, our patrons and everyone who enters the Enmax Centre and is participating some way in the event being held here,” said Gallucci. “Safety and health are of utmost importance during this time and into the future. We want people to feel comfortable knowing we’ve taken every step when attending any type of event.”
On Thursday, the Hurricanes along, with the Red Deer Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers, announced each organization would be implementing the restriction exemption program.
“When you think of our league, we’re in this together,” said Anholt. “I think from a standpoint of the other Alberta teams who are in the same boat as us at this point, we wanted to make sure we come out as a unified threesome and show that we’re in this together. So I think this is really important and there were lots of discussions. I don’t think I can really emphasize enough how many discussions we’ve had with Kim and his staff, our league office and our league partners. These decisions haven’t come lightly and we really want to emphasize that. We’re just following our leadership and following guidelines.
Anholt said the Hurricanes ultimately want to be able to work and have a season with fans.
“We will follow the guidelines and restrictions with the hope that more and more of our fans will be vaccinated and return to watching Hurricanes hockey for a long time to come. We respect the right to choose, and for those, the option of having a negative COVID test to come to our games is still a viable option.”
Beginning Monday, patrons 12-and-older wishing to attend events at the Enmax Centre must provide proof of vaccination electronically, with AHS card or by bringing vaccination papers.
A single dose vaccination will be accepted for the Hurricanes Sept. 24 preseason game against the Red Deer Rebels, but a double-dose – or full vaccination will be required as of Oct. 1, which is also the Hurricanes Western Hockey League regular season home opener.
Patrons will also be required to show documentation of a medical exemption or provide proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test within 48 hours of service. Tests from AHS or Alberta Precision Laboratories are not allowed.
Proof of vaccination can be provided electronically through the My Health app, with a downloaded AHS card or by bringing vaccination papers.
As well, a new self-serve ticket scanning system to limit touch points will be implemented at certain locations as well as directional signage and controlled que entry to the building will be in place.
Mandatory masking as per current Alberta Health Services guidelines remains in place, except while eating or drinking at all Enmax Centre events
Enhanced COVID cleaning and shields will be in place as well as 80 hand sanitizers installed throughout the venue.
Other operational changes include walk through metal detectors, while smoking areas have been permanently removed from the venue and surrounding property.
For Hurricanes season ticket holders, Gallucci said there will be more detailed information coming forward prior to the season ticket pickup.
“So far our main focus has been getting hockey going, but it includes all events. So we did have to talk to most of our agents and our promoting partners and they are all on board. They agree. It’s the same thing, we want to have a safe environment and it will be the same rules as hockey for those events. You come to a concert it will be proof of vaccination or a 48-hour COVID test and once you’re in there will be masks. Hopefully one day that will be lifted. But when you’re eating or drinking you don’t need to be wearing a mask.”
In the midst of the uncertainty, Anholt said the Hurricanes season ticket holder base has stayed consistent.
“I think our fans are as excited as we are to get back in the building and watch Hurricanes hockey and support our organization. There is always going to be some fallout and we understand that and we’re trying to take care of that part of the population and that part of the fan base the best we can.”
Gallucci also didn’t anticipate an impact on concert ticket sales.
“I know for a lot of fans, what we’re doing is taking away any concern,” he said. “We really want people to walk in and feel comfortable and we don’t anticipate any lowering of ticket sales. We think it will be real positive.”
Starting Monday, the City of Lethbridge will be implementing the Government of Alberta’s restriction exemption program at the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre – including the Sterndale Bennett Theatre – as well as the ATB Centre, Civic Ice Centre, Henderson Arena, Labour Club Ice Centre, Nicholas Sheran Arena and Logan Boulet Arena.
Along with protocols implemented by the City, Lethbridge College also announced that starting Monday it will be implementing the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program.
Anyone accessing the Lethbridge College campus will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR or rapid test taken within 72 hours of accessing the campus.
In-person classes and services at Lethbridge College will resume on Monday, with the new requirements in place. Everyone will be required to fill out an attestation form declaring their vaccination status or proof of negative test prior to accessing campus. In the coming weeks, the college will introduce an app that will be able to track the vaccination status of the campus community easily and confidentially.
The college has also announced that vaccinations or a medical exemption will be mandatory to access campus as of Jan. 1, 2022. Negative rapid or PCR tests, or partial vaccinations will no longer be sufficient to access campus.
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