British Columbia has become the third province in Canada to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine certificate behind Manitoba and Quebec.
The BC Vaccine Card will first be implemented on September 13 and will require users to have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The second phase begins on October 24 and will require residents to be fully vaccinated.
The announcement was made on Monday afternoon by Premier John Horgan, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
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According to health officials, proof of vaccination will be needed to access the following events:
- Indoor ticketed sporting events
- Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events
- Indoor patios and dining
- Nightclubs and casinos
- Fitness centres and gyms
- Indoor events such as weddings, parties, and workshops
- Indoor classes and activities
It will also be required in certain settings at BC post-secondary institutions.
The BC Ministry of Health adds that by September 13, people will have a “secure web link” to access their proof of vaccination confidentially. They can then save a copy of their vaccination on their phone, which can be showed when entering businesses or events.
The BC Vaccine Card will also be compatible with travellers coming in from out of province, both domestic and international.
“In terms of people coming from out of province, we will have the ability for them to show their proof of vaccine, and it will be compatible with Quebec and other provinces and what their proof of immunization or their immunization record is,” Dr. Henry says.
“So we have a process for that, as well as for international travellers.”
The only “exemption” that exists is for children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination.
Dr. Henry suggested that this would be a temporary measure, to last until January 31, but is subject to extension.