VICTORIA – Starting Sept. 13, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events.
This will continue to increase the vaccination rate across the province and provide confidence to fully vaccinated people that those around them are also fully vaccinated, according to the province.
“Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us,” said Premier John Horgan, in a news release. “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 Sept. 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings. By Oct. 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.
“I am grateful to every single person who has taken the time to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “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.”
A secure weblink will be provided and publicized before Sept. 13, where people will be able to confidentially access their proof of vaccination. Individuals will be able to save a copy of their proof of vaccination to their phone to show it when entering or using designated businesses and events. Individuals who cannot access their proof of vaccination online will be provided with a secure alternative option.
“Getting vaccinated keeps everyone in B.C. safe and stops the spread of COVID-19,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “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.”
By getting vaccinated prior to Sept. 13, every British Columbian can continue to access these events and settings.
Details on specific COVID-19 safety requirements for K-12 and post-secondary schools will be available this week.
How it works
As of Sept. 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 Oct. 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:
indoor ticketed sporting events
- indoor concerts
- indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
- restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
- night clubs
- 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
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 Sept. 13. To access proof of vaccination an individual will need:
- 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 B.C. 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 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.
How to get vaccinated and stay safe from COVID-19
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(https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register)
Search by community to find a drop-in clinic near you. Clinics are organized by each health authority:
* Fraser Health: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/vaxforbc#fraser
* Vancouver Coastal Health: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/vaxforbc#vancouver-coastal
* Interior Health: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/vaxforbc#interior
* Northern Health: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/vaxforbc#northern
Visit your local health authority website for more information on clinic hours and locations:
* Fraser Health: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/easi#.YSP41PpKiUm
* Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine
* Island Health: https://covid19.islandclinics.ca/?q=locations
* Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-immunization-clinics/
* Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/covid-19-immunization-clinics