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RMOW rescinds vaccine requirement for municipal staff

Municipal employees currently on unpaid leave over vaccine policy can return to work April 11
facemasks web
Whistler's municipal hall.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has rescinded its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for staff in light of current public health guidance. 

Effective Friday, April 8, the RMOW will no longer mandate municipal employees, contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment. Unvaccinated employees currently on unpaid leave—or those who chose not to disclose their vaccine status—can return to work as of Monday, April 11. The RMOW set a deadline of March 1 for employees to disclose their vaccination status. As of March 9, municipal hall said there were 12 employees placed on unpaid leave—six casual and six permanent staff. 

Whistler council approved a recommendation to rescind its vaccination policy in a closed meeting April 5. 

The vaccination requirement remains in place for locally-based federal employees, including RMOW staff and contractors working within the Whistler RCMP detachment. 

"While COVID-19 is still with us, the high levels of vaccination in our workplace and community have allowed us to move forward in how we manage health and safety risks within the workplace," said Mayor Jack Crompton in a release. “We are seeing the Province and other agencies move away from mandated requirements of the BC Vaccine Card and COVID-19 Safety Plans. We must all manage our own individual health and respect that people’s comfort levels may differ from our own”.

As of April 8, B.C.'s Vaccine Card is no longer required to access non-essential events, services and businesses, although individual businesses and event organizers can continue to require proof of vaccination and/or masks for entry, if they so choose. 
The Meadow Park Sports Centre will also end its vaccine requirement for entry as of April 8. 

The RMOW joined numerous federal, provincial and local government bodies in implementing vaccine requirements for its staff, although it was relatively late to do so. Council first approved the measure in a closed-door meeting Dec. 7, but it wasn't until last month that the policy went into effect