B.C. bringing in vaccine passport for non-essential services

B.C. bringing in vaccine passport for non-essential services

The province will start Sept. 13 to introduce the B.C. Vaccine Card.

British Columbia is implementing a policy requiring citizens to provide “proof of vaccination” to access events, such as sporting events, nightclubs, restaurants and movies.

The Premier made the announcement Monday, stating the province has a target date of Sept. 13 to introduce the B.C. Vaccine Card.

“The Delta variant and an increase in cases, largely within the unvaccinated population, has led us to pause and reflect on what steps and what measures we can we take through public health and through other initiatives to protect British Columbians and to protect businesses,” said Horgan.

“British Columbia has one of the strongest vaccination rates in Canada with 75 percent of eligible people now fully vaccinated, but there is still more work to do.”

Starting Sept. 13, residents will need to have at least one dose of vaccine to enter certain social, business, recreational and discretionary events.

The B.C. Vaccine Card will be required for:

  • indoor ticketed sporting events
  • indoor concerts
  • indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
  • restaurants 
  • night clubs
  • casinos
  • movie theatres
  • fitness centres/gyms 
  • businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
  • organized indoor events 
  • discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities

The province will allow individual businesses to implement a proof of vaccination requirement earlier than Sept. 13 if they choose.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said non-vaccinated people account for 90 percent of B.C.’s cases and 93 percent of hospitalizations.

“What that tells us is that your risk is 10 times higher if you’ve not been protected through vaccines,” said Henry.

“We have made incredible progress in our shared efforts to put the pandemic behind these high levels of transmission among unvaccinated people mean that further action is needed to help reduce transmission to keep all of our businesses open and ensure we can continue to enjoy social events.”

British Columbians will access their proof of vaccination through a website by entering their name, date of birth and personal health number. 

Out-of-province visitors will also be required to show proof of vaccination from their jurisdiction along with a photo ID.

Henry said Friday that B.C. may not be able to move to the next step in its COVID-19 restart plan as quickly as expected.

British Columbia reported 663 new cases of COVID-19 Friday. With more than half of the 6,345 active cases were in the Interior Health region.

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