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B.C. unveils proof of vaccination system for wide range of activities

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 @ 9:57 AM | By Ian Burns

The B.C. government has announced it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for a wide range of activities in the province next month, including indoor dining at restaurants, going to the gym and attending a wedding.

The new vaccine card system will come into effect Sept. 13, Premier John Horgan said at an Aug. 23 press conference. He said the delta variant and an increase in cases, largely among the unvaccinated population, has led the province to “pause and reflect what steps can we take through public health and other initiatives to protect British Columbians and to make sure we can keep doing to the best of our ability those things which make life in British Columbia so special.”

“Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us,” he said. “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, but there is still more work to do.”

A secure weblink will be provided and publicized 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.

As of Sept. 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to the settings. But by Oct. 24 entry will be restricted to people who have been fully vaccinated for at least seven days. The measures will be time limited through to Jan. 31, 2022, subject to possible extension.

“I am grateful to every single person who has taken the time to receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “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.”

Horgan also said it was very unlikely that the province would enter step four of its restart plan next month, as had originally been scheduled.

More information about B.C.’s proof of vaccination system can be found here.

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