B.C. residents will require proof of vaccination to attend certain social and recreational events, including indoor and patio dining at restaurants.
As of Sept. 13, proof of one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be required for admission to events and venues such as concerts, nightclubs, gyms and weddings, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.
Proof of full vaccination will be required for everyone 12 and older as of Oct. 24 — people are considered fully vaccinated a week after receiving a second dose.
The measure does not apply to churches, retail and essential businesses, according to Henry.
“While our vaccination rate continues to rise, we are still seeing waves of transmission primarily amongst those who are not fully vaccinated,” Henry said. “These new measures will help reduce transmission and keep our communities safe and ensure we can continue to keep businesses open and safely enjoy much needed social events.”
Henry said the initiative will be time limited and will eventually align with a federal COVID-19 vaccination passport program. The program is set to end on Jan 31, 2022, but is subject to extension.
A weblink will be provided to residents to access their proof of vaccination before Sept. 13, according to the province. People will be able to save a copy of the proof on their phone and alternatives will be offered for those who cannot access it online.
“Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us,” said Premier John Horgan. “So I call on all eligible unvaccinated British Columbians to roll up their sleeves to stop the spread.”
Residents will also have to provide proof of vaccination for indoor theatre; indoor ticketed sporting events; patio dining; casinos; movie theatres and indoor organized events (parties, conferences, meetings and workshops).
Proof of vaccination will also be required for people visiting from outside of B.C. using a provincially/territorially recognized official record alongside valid government ID from the jurisdiction, according to the province.
As of Friday (Aug. 20), 83 per cent of eligible British Columbians 12 and older have received a first dose of vaccine and 74.3 per cent received a second.