Starting today, September 13, certain businesses, services, and events will need to verify proof of vaccination from all BC residents and visitors to the province who are 12 years of age or older.
As outlined on the Government of BC website, the following list is where the proof of vaccination requirement will apply:
- Indoor ticketed sporting events
- Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events
- Licensed restaurants and cafes, and restaurants and cafes that offer table service (indoor and patio dining), including liquor tasting rooms in wineries, breweries or distilleries
- Pubs, bars, and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
- Nightclubs, casinos, and movie theatres
- Gyms, exercise/dance facilities/studios and these activities happening in recreation facilities
- Businesses offering indoor group exercise
- Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older
- Indoor organized events with 50 or more people (e.g. wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences and workshops)
- Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities with more than 50 people (e.g. pottery, art, and choir)
- Post-secondary on-campus student housing
- Spectators at indoor youth sporting events with more than 50 people
Those who are required to do, as listed above, can verify vaccination status in one of two ways:
- By using the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app to scan the QR code (the app can be downloaded for iOS devices or for Android devices).
- By verifying the information visually (this form of verification will be required for visitors travelling to the province from elsewhere).
Once scanned, the QR code will let businesses know if a person is partially or fully vaccinated, or if they have not been vaccinated at all. Valid government photo ID will also need to be verified for those 19 years of age and older. Violation tickets, which could include an associated fine, may be issued to those businesses and organizations that do not adhere to the PHO order. Details regarding an information call line for businesses will be released soon.
The proof of vaccination requirement—which is implemented through the Gatherings and Events and Food and Liquor Services Premises Provincial Health Officer Orders and in place until at least January 31, 2022—will apply to both BC residents and visitors to the province who are 12 years of age or older (i.e. born in 2009 or earlier).
Those who reside in the province can get their BC Vaccine Card:
- Online through the Government of BC website.
- By ordering a paper copy by phone (1-833-838-2323).
- By printing a copy at a Service BC office or at a local library.
- By asking friends or family to assist if they don't have a smartphone or printer.
Travellers to BC will also be required to show proof of vaccination:
- Canadian visitors will need to show their officially recognized vaccine record and valid government-issued photo ID (both need to be issued from the same province or territory).
- International visitors will need to show the proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada (such as ArriveCAN) and their passport.
Starting September 13, individuals must be partially vaccinated (one dose) to access the businesses, services, and events listed above. A transition period will take place from September 13 and 26, during which time the BC Vaccine Card or other proof of vaccination, such as the immunization cards given out at clinics, will be accepted. Starting September 27, only the BC Vaccine Card will be accepted as proof of vaccination for residents. As of October 24, the requirement is that individuals must be fully vaccinated (two doses).
Examples of tourism-related places where proof of vaccination is not required are also outlined on the website—these include, but are not limited to:
- Unlicensed restaurants that don't offer table service (i.e. fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, food courts, etc.)
- Tasting rooms without seating attached to wineries, breweries or distilleries.
- Hotels, resorts, cabins, and campsites
- Unless it is a setting or event covered by the PHO order (i.e. a licensed restaurant at a hotel, wedding reception or conference).
- Public libraries, museums, art galleries (unless they are the location of an event).
Additional resources and guidance for businesses, including print-ready posters, are available on the Government of BC website.
Destination BC has also released updated messaging guidance for BC's tourism industry, which includes an in-depth FAQ section. An updated Tourism Sector Step 3 Toolkit with proof of vaccination information is also available.
Individuals in the Central Okanagan who have yet to receive their first or second vaccine can book an appointment or drop into one of Interior Health's Immunization Clinics. Second doses can be administered 28 days after the first dose for residents of the Interior Health Region.
More information about the proof of vaccination requirement and BC's Vaccine Card can be found on the Government of BC website.