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BC residents will need proof of vaccination to enter businesses in September

Premier John Horgan has announced the BC Vaccine Card for the province.

Horgan said it is unlikely that we will meet the requirements for Step 4 of the Restart Program.

“The BC Vaccine Card is following in the footsteps of other jurisdictions. I’ve spoken to Premier François Legault in Quebec, who was an early adherent to a passport, an immunization card.”

He said the card will be available online or through a call centre and will be needed as of September 13.

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People will be required to have at least their first dose by September 13 and will need to have their second dose by October 24.

Doctor Bonnie Henry said the only exemption for the program is for those younger than 12 years old.

“These are discretionary events that we are talking about, so they (people who have medical conditions preventing vaccinations) will not be able to attend those events through this period of time of high risk. There are no exemptions for other reasons as well,” said Henry.

To enter certain spaces people aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination.

The provincial government has the full list that will require proof of vaccination including:

  • indoor ticketed sporting events
  • indoor concerts
  • indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
  • restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
  • night clubs
  • casinos
  • movie theatres
  • fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport)
  • businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
  • organized indoor events (eg. weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, workshops)
  • discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities

Accessing post-secondary campuses will also require proof of vaccination.

Businesses will be required to check for vaccine cards to make sure all customers are vaccinated and can implement these requirements sooner as part of their safety plan.

“High levels of transmission among unvaccinated people means that further action is needed to help reduce transmission to keep all of our businesses open,” said Henry.

This regulation is focused on customers, as a different process will be needed for employees.

In the interim, in areas where community transmission is increased significantly or where there are outbreaks, the requirements to be fully vaccinated to access these events and activities may be required at the direction of the local medical health officer.

Doctor Bonnie Henry said places like Interior Health may see these measures be implemented sooner.

The BC Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Industry Association, and the BC Hotel Association are some of the ten organizations that have been pushing for the provincial government to implement the program.

This measure will be put in place until January 31, 2022, and could be extended.

Details on specific COVID-19 safety requirements for K-12 and post-secondary schools will be announced this week.

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