Officials in the Canadian province of B.C. announced today that a vaccine passport will be required to access certain non-essential services.
Starting September 13th, the province will request that people show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 before entering bars, restaurants, and a number of other social and recreational activities throughout the province.
“So 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% of eligible people now fully vaccinated, but there is still more work to do,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said after the announcement today.
To be able to use the vaccine card in B.C., residents will need to have at least one vaccination dose for Covid-19 by September 13th. And by October 24th, users will have to be fully vaccinated after seven days in order to access certain social and recreational events and activities and continue using the card.
The order will apply to people ages 12 and up.
Passport To Recreational Activities And Events Throughout B.C.
The activities and services where British Columbians will be required to show proof of vaccination include:
- patio and indoor dining in restaurants
- indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars
- movie theaters
- nightclubs and casinos
- gyms, pools and recreational facilities (exceptions for youth recreational sports)
- indoor ticketed concerts, theater, dance, symphony and sporting events
- indoor organized gatherings like weddings, parties, conferences, meetings and workshops
- indoor ticketed sports events
- post-secondary on-campus student housing
How The Passport Will Work
Officials didn’t give many details on the logistics of the new vaccine passport during the press conference today, but Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the vaccination proof “will most likely be through the phone or by showing a paper copy,” along with a valid government ID card.
Before the vaccine passport program will come into effect, a secure web link will be provided where people can access their vaccination status online. You can then save a copy to your phone and use it to show proof of vaccination when requested.
Those who cannot access the link online will be given a “secure alternative option.”
More details about the program are scheduled to be released by September 7th.
No Exceptions Will Be Given
When asked about possible exemptions to the vaccine passport order, Dr. Henry stated that, “the short answer is no.”
For individuals who cannot get vaccinated due to a medical reason, Dr. Henry explained that, “If there are those rare people who have a medical reason why they can’t be immunized, these are discretionary events that we’re talking about, so they will not be able to attend those events through this period of time of high risk.”
Second Province To Announce Vaccine Passport Order
Earlier this month, Quebec announced that it will require residents to show proof of immunization via a vaccine passport in order to access certain non-essential services, becoming the first province in Canada to officially do so.
The provinces of Manitoba and P.E.I. currently require residents to provide proof of full vaccination for some non-essential services. Quebec’s vaccine passport program is scheduled to begin on September 1st.
What This Means For Interprovincial Travel
Any person visiting from outside of B.C. will still be required to show proof of vaccination to access those services. The federal government is already working with provinces and territories to develop a vaccine passport for international travel.
B.C.’s vaccine passport will be a requirement until January 31, 2022, with possible extension.
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