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The province is cracking down on those who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Starting Sept. 13th, eligible people 12 and older will need proof of at least one dose of a vaccine to attend social and recreational settings and events.
This includes things like indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, like conferences and weddings.
By Oct. 24th, they’ll need to be fully vaccinated at least a week after receiving both doses.
Premier John Horgan says vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us.
“I call on all eligible unvaccinated British Columbians to roll up their sleeves to stop the spread, and help protect themselves, their loved ones and the people in their community. 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.”
A new order from the provincial health officer will require you to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.
“I am grateful to every single person who has taken the time to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” said provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. “While our vaccination rate continues to rise, we are still seeing waves of transmission primarily amongst those who are not fully vaccinated. 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.”
The province says a secure web link will be provided before Sept. 13th, where you can access your proof of vaccination.
To access proof of vaccination you’ll need your:
- date of birth
- personal health number (PHN)
You can save a copy to your phone, to show it when entering or using designated businesses and events.
If you can’t, or are unable, to get it online, the province says you’ll be provided with a secure alternative option.
“Getting vaccinated keeps everyone in B.C. safe and stops the spread of COVID-19,” said B.C. health minister, Adrian Dix.
“And getting vaccinated is the best choice to protect yourself, the people you love and to ensure you can continue to participate in these public and private events and settings. Our B.C. vaccine card is an essential interim action until we transition to a federally compliant proof of vaccine.”
The province says details on specific COVID-19 safety requirements for K-12 and post-secondary schools will be available this week.
Here is the full list of settings where proof of vaccination will be required:
- indoor ticketed sporting events
- indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
- restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
- 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
- Individual businesses or event organizers may also implement these requirements earlier as part of their ongoing safety plans. Businesses or institutions choosing to adopt their own vaccination policies beyond those set out in this order will be responsible for doing their own due diligence.
According to the province:
- You will be able to save a copy of their proof of vaccination to your phone to show when entering or using designated businesses and events.
- A second, secure option will be provided for people who cannot access their proof of vaccination online through a call-in centre (call centre details to be made public in coming days).
- You will show proof of vaccination in the settings listed in the PHO order, alongside valid government ID.
- 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. For those visiting from outside of Canada, they will be required to show their proof of vaccination used to enter the country and their passport.
- The measures will be time limited through to Jan. 31, 2022, subject to possible extension.
- The measures set out above do not apply to K-12 schools (public and independent) and before-and-after school programs for students. Student-only events and activities within K-to-12 public and independent schools and before and after school programs are excluded from providing a proof of vaccine as they will be covered by specific guidelines for school and child care settings. Guidance for these settings related to students will be provided in the coming days. The measures do apply to large indoor events (theatre, concerts) attended by parents, family and/or the public.
- The measures set out above will, as relevant, apply to post-secondary campuses. Student housing will be a part of the public health order identifying where proof of vaccination is required and will be in effect for Sept. 7. Further guidance for these settings related to students will be developed in the coming days in consultation with public health, including which types of student housing facilities will be included.