September 13, 2021

-Global News

B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine card system comes into effect Sept. 13 and here’s what you need to know about the program.

Proof of immunization of one COVID-19 vaccine dose will now be required to access “discretionary” social and recreational events. Proof of a second dose will be required as of Oct. 24.

When using the BC vaccine card, you can either show the QR code you will receive if you have a smartphone or show a printout.

Those who are under the age of 12 are exempt from the vaccine card because they are not yet eligible for the shot.

Businesses can either scan the QR code using a QR reader like a smartphone or tablet or visually verify the person’s card and identity.

The use of the BC Vaccine Card will be phased in to allow people extra time to transition to their new cards.

From Sept. 13-26, people will also be able to use the paper vaccination records they received at vaccine clinics or pharmacies.

Only the BC Vaccine Card will be accepted as of Sept. 27.

What will you need your vaccine card for?

Everyone born in 2009 or earlier (12+) will need the BC Vaccine Card to enter:

  • 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 and recreation facilities
  • Businesses offering indoor group exercise
  • Indoor adult group and team sports for people 19 years old or older
  • Indoor organized events with 50 or more people. For example, wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences and workshops
  • Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities like pottery, art and choir practice
  • Post-secondary on-campus student housing
Proof of vaccination is not required to vote in person in the Sept. 20 federal election or at advance polling places.

What non-essential services or places can you access without a vaccine passport?

  • Retail stores
  • Takeout food counters or restaurant drive-thrus
  • Libraries and museums
  • Private gatherings
  • Businesses offering personal care services, spas and saunas, massage therapy
  • Ceremonies (weddings and funeral) and places of worship
  • Driver education classes
  • Dog training lessons
  • Fishing and hunting activities
  • Lodging

What rules apply for people visiting from outside B.C.?

People from other parts of Canada must show a vaccine record that is officially recognized by a province or territory as well as a valid government photo ID, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained.

International travellers will need to provide the proof of immunization they used to enter Canada, such as the ArriveCAN app, along with their passport.

Henry said that members of the Canadian Armed Forces who were immunized through work can show their military ID and their vaccine card.

The province will provide businesses with a list of acceptable out-of-province vaccine records.

When will BC’s Vaccine Card program end?

The requirement is in place until Jan. 31, 2022, and could be extended, according to the province.