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Some Yellowknifers think coming proof-of-vaccine program is a step in the right direction

·2 min read
Chelsea Dubiel told CBC she sees a proof-of-vaccine program for businesses as progress. (CBC News - image credit)
Chelsea Dubiel told CBC she sees a proof-of-vaccine program for businesses as progress. (CBC News - image credit)

As the Northwest Territories government plans to roll out a voluntary proof-of-vaccine option on Friday for businesses looking to have more than 25 people inside, some Yellowknifers say they are interested in the prospect.

CBC News stopped to talk to a handful of people on what they think about the plan. While some didn't want to share their thoughts, those who did had generally positive things to say.

Chelsea Dubiel told CBC she sees the plan as progress. It's something other provinces have already introduced as well, so it wasn't unexpected, she said.

"It's what we have to keep doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. And I think the pandemic is going on as long as we thought it would, as long as we anticipated," Dubiel said.

"If we want to keep operating and have businesses reopen slowly and safely, the vaccination request is something we all kind of perceived coming anyway."

Dubiel said with the N.W.T.'s high vaccination rate, the plan wouldn't change her approach to visiting businesses – she expects people to take whatever risks they're comfortable with, and said there's a degree of "personal due diligence" for everyone.

CBC News
CBC News

Jennifer and Dawn Smith told CBC they don't have anything against a policy requiring customers to show their vaccination status, and both said they would feel more comfortable visiting businesses that choose to participate in the proof-of-vaccine system.

"It allows the businesses to pick up some more business that they're probably sorely needing, so I'm for it," said Dawn Smith.

CBC News
CBC News

Doug Rentmeister said he sees the plan as the only way for some businesses to survive.

"Without it, a lot of them are going to go belly up. I think those are safe measures, and it saves and protects both clients and staff," he said.

Businesses and organizations will have the choice to opt in to the plan. If they do, they'll have to ask all eligible customers (excluding those who can't get the vaccine and those who are under the age of 12) to show proof that they've had both their shots. That'll allow them to have up to 100 people inside, and in the case of outdoor events, 200 people outdoors.

Businesses that choose not to opt-in will need to adhere to stricter gathering limits of a maximum of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors.

The plan hinges on COVID-19 cases continuing to go down. Last week, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola said cases were on a downward trend.

This Friday, if the trend continues, lower gathering limits will also be introduced territory-wide.

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