VICTORIA — British Columbia is bringing in a vaccine card for residents to get access to restaurants, clubs, sporting events and other activities.
Premier John Horgan says the card will give people the confidence to attend events and businesses knowing that others are protected around them.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says starting Sept. 13, a new order will require proof of having had a single dose of a vaccine to access certain social and recreational activities, as well as businesses.
After Oct. 24, Henry says entry to the same settings will require those 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated and only children 12 and under will be exempt.
She says the new measures will help reduce transmission of the virus and allow businesses to remain open for those who are protected by vaccines.
Places where vaccine cards will be necessary include indoor ticketed sports events; concerts, theatre, dance and symphony performances; indoor and patio dining at restaurants; as well as at nightclubs and casinos, fitness centres and at organized indoor events such as weddings and parties.
Henry says there won't be any exemptions for those who haven't had two shots because it's a temporary measure to get the province through a risky period and the events are optional.
"It is really important that what we're trying to do is be able to allow these discretionary events to be able to continue in a way that is safe for the vast majority of people who have been immunized."
She says there will be a process for those from outside the province who are fully vaccinated to access the same services.
Horgan says B.C. has been working with the federal government and other provinces to make sure they are synchronizing their approach.
He says about 75 per cent of those who are eligible are fully vaccinated in the province, meaning a majority of people in B.C. are eligible for the card.
"And that majority wants to know that people who they are interacting with have taken the same steps to protect themselves, and their loved ones and their communities," Horgan said.
This report by The Canadian Press first published Aug. 23, 2021.
The Canadian Press