Commence OP OSTRACIZE:
B.C. to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for non-essential activities
A B.C. vaccine card will be required for entrance to non-essential activities including concerts, sports, arts and cultural events and restaurants starting in September.
“This is a step we believe is important at this point in the pandemic,” Premier John Horgan said Monday. Vaccination is our way out of the pandemic, he said.
The B.C. vaccine card has a target “roll-out” start date of Sept. 13. Starting then, you will need at least one dose of vaccine to attend non-essential indoor events and enter certain businesses. By Oct. 24, entrance will require two doses, and the second dose must have been given at least a week prior, as the vaccine takes time to reach full effectiveness.
The program is temporary and will be reassessed in January.
People will be able to download of vaccination to a mobile phone or device. There will be options for people without mobile devices but details have not been revealed.
Proof of vaccination will be needed to enter a wide range of events, including indoor and ticketed sporting events, indoor concerts, theatres, symphony events, indoor and patio dining, and businesses like restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, fitness centres and gyms.
It will also be required for organized indoor events like weddings or parties, conferences and workshops.
The vaccination card does not apply to essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and retail stores, or to faith-based groups.
Children age 11 and under are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and will be allowed into indoor events.
About 776,000 people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination have not yet received one, said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. There are opportunities across the province to access vaccinations, he said, including walk-in clinics.
Some of the province’s largest industries wrote the province and provincial health officer on Aug. 18 asking for a proof-of-vaccination program for large indoor events such as sporting events, conventions and concerts, and for large restaurants and bars.
Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, said the industry looks forward to working with the government on implementation of the progam.
“We support the B.C. vaccine card to increase confidence in attending, concerts, sporting events, restaurants, bars, gyms, indoor events, etc.,” Tostenson said Monday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the risk of acquiring COVID-19 is more than 10 times higher for a person who hasn't been vaccinated.
A B.C. vaccine card will be required for entrance to non-essential activities including concerts, sports, arts and cultural events, and restaurants starting in September.