Employees with B.C.'s transit authority and the provincial auto insurance provider will soon need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
TransLink and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia both announced Friday they are preparing to require their employees to provide proof of full vaccination by Nov. 29 and 15, respectively.
ICBC wrote in a statement Friday that it had informed its employees on Tuesday of the requirement.
It said the corporation is moving forward with requiring its 5,700 employees, including contractors, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 15, though there are still no details of how employees will be expected to provide proof of vaccination status.
TransLink's policy applies to all 8,300 employees including TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, B.C. Rapid Transit Company, and Transit Police, it said in a statement.
The transit provider says the decision comes at a critical time, as more people return to transit, and it's a vital part of efforts to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
"We know vaccination is our best shield against this virus and implementing this policy is an important next layer in protecting our employees and customers," TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in the statement.
The transit authority says it will work with employees and unions to further define its mandatory vaccination policy, including providing more information for the small number of employees who may be medically exempt.
TransLink says its policy and decision aligns with other transit agencies and the province, though it says it is still working to finalize what penalties might be applied to those employees who remain unvaccinated by the Nov. 29 deadline.