Provincial health officials have outlined full details of the BC Vaccine Card, which will be required to be shown as proof of vaccination to access certain businesses, services, and events.
The proof of vaccination requirement, which will be implemented through a Provincial Health Officer Order, will apply to both BC residents and visitors to the province who are 12 years of age or older. Those who reside in the province can now get their BC Vaccine Card through the Government of BC website. Those individuals who do not have access to a smartphone or a computer and printer can order a paper copy by phone (1-833-838-2323) or print a copy at a Service BC office.
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 outlined on the Government of BC website, the following is the list of businesses, services, and events to which the proof of vaccination requirement will apply:
- Indoor ticketed sporting events
- Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events
- Licensed restaurants and restaurants that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)
- Pubs, bars, and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
- Nightclubs, casinos, and movie theatres
- Gyms, exercise facilities/studios, pools, and 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 (e.g. pottery, art, and choir)
- Post-secondary on-campus student housing
When visiting any of these places, people will be required to show proof of vaccination along with a piece of valid government-issued photo ID (for those aged 19 and up). Starting September 13, individuals must be partially vaccinated (one dose) to access the businesses, services, and events listed above. As of October 24, the requirement is that individuals are fully vaccinated (two doses).
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.
As of September 13, applicable businesses and organizations can verify vaccination status in one of two ways:
- By downloading an app that allows you to scan the BC Vaccine Card QR code
- By verifying the information visually (this form of verification will be required for visitors travelling to the province from elsewhere)
The BC Vaccine Card verifier app, which will allow them to scan the SMART Health Card QR code format being used for the card, will be available for download starting September 13. 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.
Additional resources and guidance for businesses, including print-ready posters, are available on the Government of BC website. Destination BC will soon be releasing updated messaging guidance for tourism industry members; we will provide an update once the information is live.
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. A full press release regarding today's announcement can be accessed here.