Ever since the Calgary Vaccine Passport Bylaw (“VPB”) came into effect on September 23, 2021 condominiums within the Calgary city limits have been working within a “grey area” where the question “does the VPB apply to us?” was never fully answered.
The VPB itself is a straightforward document. It mandates that an eligible person must not enter or remain in the premises of an eligible business, unless the person provides personal identification and, generally, proof of vaccination or valid exemption.
However, up until last week the VPB defined an “eligible business” as one of a discrete list of businesses. While some of them might have applied to condominium amenities such as “an entertainment or rec centre”, “a recreation facility for physical activity, performance activity or recreational activity”, or “a conference hall or other meeting space”, condominium public spaces were not specifically listed. As a result of this, since September condominiums could adhere to the VPB if they chose to, but there was no clear direction that they had to. As a result, condominium corporations have taken a variety of approaches to this – ranging from shutting their amenities entirely, to implementing the standard 1/3 capacity and social distancing measures, to collecting owners’ vaccine information and implementing the VPB.
However, as of January 11, 2022 amendments to the VPB have come into effect which modify the scope of eligible businesses. The definition of an eligible business has been changed from the aforementioned discrete list to the following, more general, definition: “any business, entity or location that is designated as “In-Scope” in CMOH Order 54-2021 or any subsequent order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta in respect of the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program…”.
Helpfully CMOH 54-2021 includes an appendix that lists all types of businesses that qualify as “In-Scope”, which includes:
“Hotel and condo amenities such as:
Fitness rooms, pools
Game rooms, movie rooms
Other similar amenities ”
As a result of this change, the VPB is mandatory for condominium amenity facilities, there is no more “grey area”. Condominiums are no longer permitted to open their general amenities or recreational areas with 1/3 capacity and social distancing restrictions. Instead, condominiums located within the City of Calgary are required to either (i) entirely close their amenity facilities, or (ii) implement the VPB which will require individuals who want to access condominium amenities to provide proof of vaccination or a valid exception:
“An eligible person must not enter or remain in the premises of an eligible business, unless the person provides personal identification and one of the following:
Proof of vaccination;
proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from a sample taken within the last 72 hours or;
an original vaccine exception letter. “
Due to the unique circumstances of each condominium, there is no “best” way for condominiums to go about doing this. Therefore, if you have any questions or concerns about what to do, or how to go about implementing the VPB, please reach out to one of our Condominium lawyers: Dionne Levesque, Kate Kozowyk, John McDougall, or Stuart Gray.