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8,500 sign petition calling for Whistler Blackcomb to require COVID shots for guests

Four ski hills in B.C. require proof of vaccination
Tourists pose for photos at the base of Whistler Mountain in Whistler, B.C. Sunday, March 15, 2020. The Whistler Blackcomb resort which is owned by Vail Resorts shut down operations Saturday due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis taking place worldwide. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A petition calling on Whistler Blackcomb to bring in a proof of COVID vaccination program for this winter is gaining steam.

The petition, started by John Konig, had garnered 8,526 signatures by Wednesday (Nov. 3) afternoon. Whistler Blackcomb only requires employees to be vaccinated, not guests.

It cites Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff, Alta., and B.C.’s Grouse Mountain as two ski hills that will require proof of vaccination above and beyond that required by either province.

The Banff resort will require either proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test taken within 72 hours of entry to ride the lifts and gondolas from any guests ages 12 and up.

Grouse Mountain will require guests born in 2009 or later to show proof of vaccination to access all parts of the resort, including the Skyride, mountaintop facilities and activities.

Konig and more than 8,000 people want Whistler Blackcomb to do the same. In the petition, Konig noted that the “physical distancing on gondolas is measured in inches rather than feet,” calling them “tight, poorly ventilated spaces.”

Whistler Blackcomb has five gondolas! When will they do the right thing and put public safety first?” the petition stated.

The ski resort was hit hard by COVID-19 last year and was the epicentre for the P1 Brazil variant of concern in B.C. Whistler Blackcomb saw its previous winter season cut short due to the outbreak and did not reopen until its summer season at the end of May.

READ MORE: Whistler Blackcomb to stay closed for the rest of winter, scheduled to reopen in May

Editor’s note: This article incorrectly stated that Grouse Mountain is the only ski resort in B.C. to requite proof of vaccination for guests. However, while it was the first to do so, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort will also require proof of vaccination.


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