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Friday, October 22, 2021

With an outbreak in N.L.’s Bible Belt, officials consider vaccine passports at church

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Newfoundland and Labrador government is considering making it mandatory for people to be fully vaccinated to attend church services in person.

A statement today from Premier Andrew Furey’s office says he has been in talks with provincial religious leaders about the government’s vaccine passport system, which he is expected to unveil on Thursday.

The statement says Furey convened a call with religious leaders on Tuesday and they discussed the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The news comes as officials grapple with several COVID-19 outbreaks in what is known as Newfoundland’s Bible Belt, which stretches across the central part of the island.

Leroy Gee, a pastor at the First United Pentecostal Church in Bishop’s Falls, N.L., said earlier this week that COVID-19 had made its way through his congregation.

Gee said both vaccinated and unvaccinated people got sick, adding that he hadn’t been preaching for or against the vaccines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2021.

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