Timmins fitness centre will continue to require proof of vaccination
Ontario businesses have weathered several lockdowns over the past two years and gyms were one of the hardest hit.
While they are no longer required to check the vaccination statuses of their members, one fitness centre in Timmins has decided to keep the rule a while longer.
Andrea Ditullio is happy Discover Fitness-Discover Performance is going to keep checking clients for their proof of having at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I just had a brain tumour removed in November," said Andrea Ditullio. "Fitness is so important in a cancer survivor’s journey and our recovery that we need an environment like this where we can feel safe."
Ontario is leaving it up to business owners to decide if they want to lift the vaccine requirement for their establishments.
Discover Fitness-Discover Performance co-owner Lisa Tremblay said the last couple of years have been challenging but said her members must be vaccinated to use the facility.
"Navigating these times for the last two years with uncertainties and there are still uncertainties ahead, it just seemed like the right thing to do," Tremblay said.
There are also some arenas in northeastern Ontario that will be checking vaccine passports, but those in Timmins will not. Some Timmins business owners also said they've lost too much during the lockdowns so they will not be asking people if they are vaccinated.
The province reported on the Ministry of Health website that 90 per cent of the population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated with two doses. It also said protection may decrease over time and is not as effective for Omicron as with other variants.
Tremblay said she has not decided when she would stop checking peoples' vaccination status.
"When we can say 'we think now that this is over and we’re good to go,' we’ll make that decision, but right now, it’s too soon. It’s too fast. Not everyone feels comfortable and we also need to respect that," she said.
Capacity limits in Ontario businesses are also lifted and that is something Tremblay said she won't change either.
It's safe to say, regardless of where you want to conduct business, it would be a good idea to check up on an establishment's protocols ahead of time.