After a longer than expected annual shutdown, the North Peace Leisure Pool is set to reopen October 18, and when it does, vaccine cards will not be required for public swimming.
The pool, which celebrates 25 years this month, closes for annual maintenance each September. During this year's shutdown, city spokesperson Ryan Harvey said other issues were found that required work to extend into October.
"The longer time period allowed for complete repairs to the hot tub," said Harvey. "We don't like to extend the annual shutdown periods, but we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the pool this year. It is aging, but we're excited to get people back in there to enjoy the facility."
The pool opened in 1996 and is owned by the Peace River Regional District and operated by the City of Fort St. John. It’s home to the Inconnu swim club, and offers up fitness, lifeguard, and first aid training classes.
The pool will officially celebrate 25 years on Tuesday, Oct. 26 with a free swim, as well as discounts on monthly passes and merchandise on that day.
When the pool reopens, proof of vaccination will not be required for public swimming. However, proof of vaccination will be required for spectators at events such as swim meets, as stated by the Oct. 14 provincial health order.
"It's interesting, on the BC Vaccine Card, it applies to organized adult sports, but public swimming and public skating are considered drop-in and not organized, in the eyes of the government, and therefore it's not required to show proof of vaccination," said city spokesman Ryan Harvey.
What's changed for sports and rec
B.C. announced further restrictions for the Northern Health region on Thursday, with one big change for local sports and recreation.
Sporting events with spectators will now be limited to 50% capacity, and spectators must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination. Previously, ticketed sports events required proof of vaccination, while vaccination was not required for spectators at youth sporting events where there was less than 50 people.
The provincial government updated its mask requirements Oct. 12, requiring people over the age of five to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and buildings.
For Fort St. John rec facilities, this means masks must be worn unless you are on the ice skating, in the pool swimming, on the walking track for a walk or run, competing on the field of play (ice or soccer pitch), and at a fitness class.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com