August 23, 2021

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

Earlier this afternoon, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced preliminary details of a Proof of Vaccination Requirement for British Columbia. Beginning September 13, British Columbians will be required to demonstrate a BC Vaccine Card to access certain settings and businesses.

According to Government, “this is an important step to increase the vaccination rate across the province and provide confidence to fully vaccinated people that those around them are also fully vaccinated.” 

“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, 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.” 

A new order from the provincial health officer will require individuals to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province. As of September 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings. By October 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated at least seven days after receiving both doses. To enter certain spaces, including indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, like conferences and weddings, people aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination. 

How it will work

While we do not yet the full details of how the program will be rolled out, here’s what we know so far:

  • As of September 13, people in British Columbia will be required to be partially vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access certain businesses and events.
  • As of October 24, people in British Columbia will be required to be fully immunized, at least seven days after receiving two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, to access the same list of businesses and events.
  • 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.
  • Here is the full list of settings where proof of vaccination will be required:
    • restaurants, pubs, and bars (indoor and patio dining)
    • indoor ticketed sporting events
    • indoor concerts
    • indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
    • 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
    • NOTE: this list DOES NOT include retail stores such as liquor or grocery
  • 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.
  • Individuals will be able to confidentially access their proof of vaccination through a secure website. A weblink will be provided and publicized widely before September 13. To access proof of vaccination an individual will need:
    • name
    • date of birth
    • personal health number (PHN)
  • Individuals will be able to save a copy of their proof of vaccination to their 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).
  • Individuals 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 BC using a provincially/territorially recognized official record alongside valid government ID from the jurisdiction. For individuals 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 January 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 September 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.

You can read government’s full press release here.

Need to get vaccinated? 

To get the most effective protection against serious cases of COVID-19, you need two doses of vaccine. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, or it’s time for your second dose (at least 28 days since your first dose), book or visit a drop-in clinic and get protected from COVID-19.

To can register and book an appointment, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated

Search by community to find a drop-in clinic near you. Clinics are organized by each health authority:

Visit your local health authority website for more information on clinic hours and locations:

Comment from ABLE BC

This is a complex and potentially divisive issue. We know this will lead to challenging conversations with your customers, and we still have many questions on how this will be rolled out and enforced. We are working right now with government and Public Health Officials to get you the clarity you need to plan your business. We will provide more details as they are available. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please contact jeff@ablebc.ca.


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