By Medicine Hat News on August 18, 2021.
The Western Hockey League will require mandatory vaccinations in a COVID-19 policy announced Tuesday.
Effective immediately, all roster players, hockey operations staff and other team and WHL Office personnel along with officials must be fully vaccinated with a Health Canada-approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start of the 2021-22 WHL regular season, which opens Oct. 1.
According to a press release, the policy will also apply to general managers, coaches, head scouts or director of player personnel, trainers, equipment managers, on-ice and off-ice consultants, on-ice officials and ice level off-ice officials (penalty box attendants; timekeepers and scorekeepers) and any other individuals who interact directly and on a regular basis with players.
“The health and safety of our players and staff continues to be the number one priority for the WHL,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison says in the release. “The policy is designed to further protect our players and staff in the WHL from the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“With travel restrictions currently in place with the Canada/U.S. Border, as well as the province of Manitoba, it is important all players and staff are fully vaccinated in order to be eligible to play a full season in the WHL.”
The league is also recommending to each of its member clubs that players reside in billet households in which all eligible individuals are fully vaccinated.