Woodbine Entertainment has given the government its seal of approval.
Following Ontario’s new COVID-19 vaccination plan, Canada’s largest horse racing operator proactively announced a stricter internal policy moving forward.
As of Sept.15, Woodbine requires race participants to be fully vaccinated.
An Enhanced Screening Program, including rapid testing (Antigen), will be mandatory for those who refuse to disclose their vaccination status.
Woodbine guests, staff, horse racing participants and contractors are subject to the new measures.
“We have been planning for this possibility which is why we were prepared to implement a vaccination policy for our employees and horse people that will provide another layer of protection for our staff, horse racing participants, guests and the larger community,” said Jim Lawson, Woodbine’s CEO.
Woodbine’s new internal vaccination policy
Again, as of Sept.15, Woodbine employees wanting to log hours require full vaccination. That includes the company’s Woodbine Racetrack, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Greenwood Telethreatre, and WEGZ Stadium Bar properties.
Meanwhile, horse racing participants at Woodbine Racetrack (and stabling area) and Woodbine Mohawk Park (and paddock) face the exact requirements.
There are some exceptions, however.
Workers at Casino Woodbine and Elements Casino Mohawk are exempt. Woodbine does not employ most workers at these sites.
Contractors, vendors, and suppliers spending less than 30 minutes on-site are also excused from the double poke.
But, if said workers spend more than half an hour at Woodbine, they face the same protocol.
Horse racing at Woodbine during COVID-19
In early September, the Government of Ontario announced sweeping changes to its COVID-19 protocol.
The biggest one came in the form of a province-wide mandate for full vaccination status (two doses plus a 14-day grace period) by Sept.22 to access non-essential business services.
Alongside casinos, horse racing venues fit that bill.
That’s slightly changed things for Woodbine.
But these latest measurements are a clear act to get ahead of the curve.
That’s been a trend for the company, though.
Woodbine helped dish out more than 15,0000 vaccinations earlier this year.