Today’s BC Government announcement of a short-term measure for proof of vaccination is necessary to increase vaccination rates and to ensure the safety of consumers and workers.
“The goal in the future is to have a coordinated, national approach to show proof of vaccination,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “A short-term proof of immunization strategy is an important temporary measure that the Surrey Board of Trade has been calling for to the BC Government as well as to the Federal Government.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, briefed the COVID-19 Industry Engagement Table this morning on today’s announcement. The Surrey Board of Trade is a member of this industry table. The Surrey Board of Trade Pandemic Rapid Response Business Centre brings you this information – important for your business and workforce.
“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use. Without inter-provincial harmonization, Canada risks a piecemeal approach, making life more difficult and unpredictable for individuals and employers during an already uncertain time. Many of our businesses do business across Canada, trading goods and travelling across the country for business-related reasons.”
“We expect that there will be many questions by employers, employees along with technology education that will be required.”
Implementing proof-of-immunization encourages more Canadians to get vaccinated and allow more businesses to safely reopen and remain open with the possibility of future outbreaks still uncertain. Public health restrictions, such as capacity limits, could then be modified accordingly based on the lower risk involved with close contact among fully vaccinated individuals. Encouraging people to get vaccinated will reduce possible impacts to mutations.
Starting Sept. 13, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events.
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 theatre/dance/symphony events
restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport)
businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
organized indoor events (e.g. 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.