Regina Symphony Orchestra has new mask and vaccine policy

“We implement mask and proof of vaccination policies to help ensure the safety of our audience, musicians, guest artists, staff and volunteers. ”

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The Regina Symphony Orchestra has announced a policy of mandatory masks and vaccines ahead of the new concert season.

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“We are implementing mask and proof of vaccination policies to help ensure the safety of our audiences, musicians, guest artists, staff and volunteers,” read a statement released by RSO.

Starting September 18 for its season opening concert at Holy Rosary Cathedral and September 25 at Conexus Arts Center, proof of full vaccination will be required for spectators over 12 years old.

All RSO administrative staff, guest artists and musicians adhere to a similar policy.

“I have to provide a safe workplace. If I didn’t have this policy in place and someone got sick or lost their career (due to a COVID contract)… that would be real problems, ”RSO Executive Director Mike Forrester said in an interview on Wednesday.

“Our orchestra has to play in very, very close quarters and are on stage together six days a week very frequently – 2.5 hours for both rehearsals and concerts,” he added.

All participants must also be masked when attending RSO concerts at all venues.

Forrester said the policy was slow to finalize after receiving “a ton of advice” and working closely with the orchestra’s player committee. “You may have one or two people who are aberrant in this area and who may wish to take time off. So far I haven’t seen this, ”he said.

On Wednesday, Forrester said the RSO had only received a few calls from people complaining about the new policy or asking for refunds – but the response was mostly positive.

“Most people realize that in order for us to continue – they miss their music and they miss their orchestra – that’s what we had no choice but to do… A safe place to work (and a) Safe environment for the public is my primary responsibility. “

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The RSO says that if a customer has purchased a ticket and is not feeling well on the date of a performance, for whatever reason, they will accommodate with a ticket or tickets for a future event.

For any person unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, the person must justify a rapid negative antigen test administered at the latest 24 hours before the concert or a PCR test carried out in the 72 hours preceding the concert.

Proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to concert attendance or proof of a negative test result must be provided to event staff upon arrival. Printed copies or evidence stored on mobile devices from health authorities are acceptable, as is the vaccination card received at the time of vaccination.

The RSO will have masks and hand sanitizer available during performances.

The announcement follows similar policies recently imposed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the City of Regina and the Regina Exhibition Association. On July 11, the province lifted the remaining COVID-19 restrictions and did not reimpose them.

– with files from Greg Harder

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