Proof of Vaccination Should be Required at Faith Services

Proof of Vaccination Should be Required at Faith Services

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party is calling on the Houston government to require COVID-19 proof of vaccination at faith-based gatherings in the province.

With recent deaths at both a longterm care and group home in Nova Scotia traced back to a large church gathering where people didn’t provide their vaccine status, the government needs to amend the phase 5 restrictions to include in-person religious services in its proof of vaccination requirements.

“We are now seeing a direct correlation between COVID-19 outbreaks in our province and faith-based gatherings,” says Liberal Leader Iain Rankin. “It’s time for the government to draw a line in the sand. People absolutely have the right to worship, but not at the risk of public safety.”

A large, multi-day church event at the end of October where those in attendance didn’t show proof of vaccine has been linked to three deaths and a continued outbreak of the virus at two care facilities in the Amherst-Pugwash area, as well as a spike in community spread.

Under the PC government’s proof of vaccine protocol, indoor and outdoor social events are included. But faith services are exempted — people attending these types of gatherings are not required to show proof of vaccine. Rankin says this is a concerning, albeit unintended, loophole.

“We cannot leave open the potential for unvaccinated people to gather for public worship,” adds Rankin. “In the interest of public safety, the Houston government needs to change the phase 5 restrictions and require proof of vaccine at all in-person faith services.”