BONNYVILLE – Sports fans heading to the R.J. Lalonde Arena on Friday night to watch the Bonnyville Pontiacs take on the Whitecourt Wolverines will have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.
The junior hockey team made the announcement Wednesday, stating that, “In accordance with the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) and the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre (C2), the Bonnyville Pontiacs are participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, put in place by the Government of Alberta, until further notice.”
According to Michael Menzies, the Pontiacs’ media director, the AJHL had made the decision last week that all AJHL teams would operate under the province’s new Restriction Exemption Program.
As of Sept. 22, spectators 12 years of age or older will have to provide a piece of government issued ID along with:
Proof of at least one vaccination that has been administered within two weeks prior to the date upon entering the arena. Beginning Oct. 25 two vaccines will be required.
Proof of a privately-paid negative test result taken within 72 hours of the game.
Documentation of a medical exemption from an accredited medical professional.
Once inside the facility, fans will be required to wear a face mask at all times, except when they are eating or drinking.
“This is a difficult time for everyone and we ask you, our fans, for your patience and understanding as everyone navigates this situation,” stated the Pontiacs’ press release.
By adhering to the province's exemption program, the R.J. Lalonde Arena will not have limits placed on spectator capacity.
If the Pontiacs and AJHL did not participate in the Restriction Exemption Program implemented by the provincial government, occupancy would be reduced to 33 per cent of the arena’s Alberta Fire Code. All fans would be required to sit in a cohort, or with a person who lives alone. As well, guests would need to be distanced two metres from all other groups in the facility.
Mandatory masking would also be in effect.
Season ticket holders with concerns or who are wanting to cancel their season ticket package, are being directed to speak to the Pontiacs’ office manager.
The Bonnyville Pontiacs will take on the Whitecourt Wolverines at 7 p.m. Friday at the R.J. Lalonde Arena.