Putting Safety First
Download the Guide
To read the full "Reopening Guide" please download our Reopening Guide-V8-Feb18 PDF (667KB). Below are the Preamble and Assumptions.
Version 8 February 18, 2022
Approved by Town of Innisfil, November 2021
In August 2020, the Association of Community Theatres - Central Ontario (ACTCO) developed a comprehensive reopening guide for Community Theatres. A later revision of the ACT-CO document (April 2021) includes references to recommendations from the The Live Performance Health and Safety Advisory Committee and the Ontario Government Ministry of Labour which are specific to professional theatres. Similar to the ACT-CO document, this SST Guide has been adapted to reflect the particular needs of the patrons, members and volunteers at The South Simcoe Theatre (SST).
While it our intention to provide a safe reopening plan for SST, we acknowledge that this does not guarantee that, even if followed to the letter, this plan will prevent anyone attending or participating in an SST production in any capacity from contracting the virus. The intent of the document is to provide a comprehensive plan, based on the available scientific evidence and best practices, to ensure that all those who wish to return to the theatre, may do so in as safe a manner as possible.
This document liberally borrows from the ACT-CO document (V3 April 2021), with their permission. We would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort by ACT-CO to develop their guideline and we are grateful for their ongoing support during this challenging time.
As the status of the COVID-19 Pandemic is in a constant state of flux, this document and the protocols employed on-site by SST will be changed as required to ensure compliance with the current requirements of the Town of Innisfil, the Province of Ontario and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
Based on the Province of Ontario Roadmap to Reopen (May 2021) the Provincial government has allowed theatres to open to full capacity, and as of March 1, 2022 with the option of vaccine requirements and other safety measures such as distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures still in place.
In spite of this change, SST has elected to keep seating at approximately 50% occupancy for for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season. While we may be eager to return to at Page 3 least “near normal” we only have one chance to get it right, so that we do not jeopardize our further return to a “new normal” in 2022-23. Cautious optimism must prevail as the weeks and months unfold.
The Ontario Government’s Reopening Ontario Legislation (Reg 364/20) required that theatres have a vaccination policy in place as of September 22, 2021. Specifically, theatres must “establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-10 vaccination policy” (2.1(a). Furthermore Section 2.1.1 indicates that it “requires each patron who enters an area of the premises… to provide, at the point of enter, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” SST, in keeping with this legislation, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of patrons, actors, volunteers, production team members and any other persons who will be working on any production, required the aforementioned to be vaccinated as well, unless they are able to produce exemption document from a medical professional as outlined in the Regulation, or fall into one of the exemption categories outline in the regulation under section 2.1(6). (See Section 3, page 6 for details of the SST vaccination policy). This vaccination requirement will be monitored over the coming months in keeping with the Province of Ontario’s most recent directions contained in A Plan to Safety Reopen Ontario and Management Covid-19 for the Long Term.
The most recent provincial government announcement has allowed for the removal of proof of vaccination passports effective March 1, 2022 for non-essential businesses. It also allows for businesses to keep this requirement in place should they deem it necessary. Out of an abundance of caution, and in deference to those patrons who have already purchased tickets and subscriptions to date, the Board has decided to continue to require proof of vaccination from patrons and volunteers for the duration of the run of BURN. Masking will be required and distanced seating will be implemented for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season. As always we will follow the guidance of the legislation while doing everything we can to ensure the safety and enjoyment of our patrons, actors and volunteers.
It should also be noted that all information contained herein applies equally to prerehearsal and rehearsal periods, as well as during performances unless otherwise noted.