Quebec gym opted to mandate proof of vaccination before vaccine passport announcement

The gym, which has been around for 20 years, hasn’t had a single case of COVID-19, according to Gauthier, who wants to keep it that way.


'Athletica,' a gym in Lac-Brome, Quebec, east of Montreal, has committed to a policy requiring proof of vaccination for staff and customers.

In comments to CTV News, the gym’s owner, Alan Gauthier, said, "the decision for the requirement comes down to public safety" and pointed to the likelihood that vaccine passports are "inevitably coming" to 'non-essential' services like restaurants and gyms.

When queried about the potential loss of revenue the policy could entail, Gauthier told CTV that "I’m now honestly happy to lose [unvaccinated] customers. I don’t need to put the rest of my clientele at potential risk, nor my own health or that of my children."

Gauthier said he got to a point where he wasn't quite sure which of his customers were vaccinated. "I'm at the point now, having been [partially] closed for almost 15 months in the past year," he said, "with the various zone changes in Quebec, a decision needed to be taken so let the unvaccinated stay home."

He called for the province to have a "little more guts to extend the directive." Gauthier added that while he had one customer who disagreed with the requirement, he has received overwhelming support from the public.

The gym, which has been around for 20 years, hasn’t had a single case of COVID-19, according to Gauthier, who wants to keep it that way. He said he wants to avoid the situation in the early spring in which a Quebec City gym was linked to an outbreak of roughly 400 cases of the virus.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced Canada's first vaccine passport system on Thursday in anticipation of a fourth wave of cases driven by the Delta variant. He stated that Health Minister Christian Dubé would inform Quebec residents on the details and when it would come into effect.

By the Quebec government's estimate, the vaccine passport should be implemented sometime in September. It will primarily be used to prevent non-vaccinated residents from accessing non-essential services.


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