The provincial government’s COVID-19 vaccine card requirement to access events, services and businesses will end on April 8, though businesses may continue to ask for it if they choose.
The province also announced it will roll out a spring booster vaccine program for seniors in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
Seniors over the age of 70 and Indigenous people over 55 will also begin receiving invitations for their spring booster dose — a new dose for seniors who received their third shot six months ago or more, according to a media release by the Ministry of Health.
People can use their invitation to schedule their appointment in health authority clinics or at participating pharmacies. A call centre will also continue to be available for those who are not able to book online, according to the province.
“Boosters are an important part of continuing to protect those who are most at risk as restrictions continue to be lifted, and I encourage everyone to make time in their day to get a booster dose,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) will be prioritized for their COVID-19 vaccinations. Those who have received three doses are eligible for their fourth shot about six months after their previous dose, according to the ministry.
Booster doses will be either the Moderna or Pfizer (mRNA) vaccine, the release said.
Along with the end of the vaccine card requirement, the remainder of the Workplace Safety Order will expire, which means businesses will transition back to plans to reduce risk of all communicable disease, according to the Ministry of Health.
The requirement for students living in residence to be fully vaccinated under the Post-secondary Institution Housing COVID-19 Preventative Measures Order will also be repealed.
“Today, as we continue our progress managing COVID-19, we are easing restrictions and, at the same time, taking important steps to boost our immunity and keep people safe,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “As we all do our part — to get vaccinated, use our layers of protection and stay home when we are ill, we will continue to adjust our response as the pandemic evolves.”
B.C. has also increased the supply of rapid tests, helping people monitor and manage mild COVID-19 symptoms at home. Currently, rapid antigen tests, in kits of five tests, are available to people aged 18 years and older through community pharmacies. As of April 11, residents will be able to pick up rapid tests without showing their B.C. personal health number.