Vaccine Passports take effect in B.C. for certain services, events and businesses

Long list to digest to figure out all the specifics of the new regulations

Vaccine passports are now required to access some services, businesses and events.

Vaccine passports are now required to access some services, businesses and events.

Today’s the day when proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses. You can do that by showing your BC Vaccine Card.

Partial vaccination (one dose) is necessary as of Sept. 13. You must be fully vaccinated with two doses by Oct. 24.

It’s been a confusing time for people to understand what can and cannot be accessed with or without vaccines at this time and for businesses to figure out how to implement the requirements.

In Chemainus, the lead-up time to the enforcement dates has been keeping Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre managing director Emily Weeks hopping to ensure locals are informed.

“Thankfully, a vast majority of questions were answered and clarified after the Sept. 7 announcement through the website,” noted Weeks. “Finally there are specific examples of who needs to implement this new mandate and who does not.”

You can check out those details here.

Individuals were able to get their digital vaccine cards after the announcement, but businesses could not download the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app until Sept. 13.

“This app is how businesses will be able to check Vaccine Cards, along with a piece of ID,” Weeks indicated.

There are many questions that remain unanswered that will hopefully become clearer in the days ahead.

Weeks tossed out a few of them as food for thought.

“What is yet to be confirmed is how businesses are expected to enforce this. Will there be funding to hire an extra person to man the door full-time? Our labour force is already stretched thin and not many people would volunteer themselves for that position to begin with. What are businesses supposed to do if a customer becomes irate?”

She added customer service workers are not police officers, and are already stretched to the max as well. It is feared the added stress to employers and employees will only add to the staffing crisis.

By order of the Provincial Health Officer, the proof of vaccination requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers: indoor ticketed sporting events with more than 50 people; indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events with more than 50 people; 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 exercise/fitness; indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older; indoor organized events with 50 or more people; indoor organized group recreational classes and activities with more than 50 people like pottery, art and choir; post-secondary student housing; and spectators at indoor youth sporting events with more than 50 people.

Examples of places that don’t require proof of vaccination include: grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies; unlicensed restaurants that don’t offer table service such as fast food, coffee shops, food courts, food trucks and takeout; tasting rooms without seating attached to wineries, breweries or distilleries; local public transportation (BC Transit, TransLink, BC Ferries); salons, hairdressers and barbers; hotels, resorts, cabins and campsites unless it is a setting or event covered by the PHO order and does not include exercise/fitness facilities in hotels that are for guests; swimming pools (unless it’s the location of an event) and skating rinks (unless being used for adult sport); banks and credit unions; retail and clothing stores; public libraries, museums, art galleries (unless they are the location of an event); food banks and shelters; escape rooms, laser tag, indoor paint ball, arcades and bowling alleys (if they are unlicensed or don’t offer food-related table service); post-secondary on-campus cafeterias; airport food courts and restaurants; health care services, rehabilitation or exercise therapy programs, and drug and alcohol support group meetings; and social services provided to people in need.

You don’t have to show proof of vaccination at events like: worship services; indoor youth recreational sport for people 21 years old or younger; before and after school programs for K to 12 students; student events and activities in K to 12 public and independent schools; and indoor organized events with less than 50 people, except adult sports.

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