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Vaccine Passports

Did you get your first or second dose of the COVID19 vaccine? Do you know the deadline to access many services in the province or across Canada if you are not vaccinated?

Here is essential information you need to know about the Vaccine Passport.

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services, and businesses. You must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By Oct. 24, you must be fully vaccinated. The requirement is in place until Jan. 31, 2022, and could be extended. 

The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers:

  • Indoor ticketed sporting events with more than 50 people
  • Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events with more than 50 people
  • Licensed restaurants and cafes and restaurants and cafes that offer table service (indoor and patio dining) 
  • Includes liquor tasting rooms in wineries, breweries, or distilleries
  • Pubs, bars, and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
  • Nightclubs, casinos, and movie theatres
  • Gyms, exercise and dance facilities or studios 
  • Includes these activities happening in recreation facilities
  • Businesses offering indoor exercise/fitness
  • Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older
  • Indoor organized events with more than 50 people
  • For example, weddings, funeral receptions (outside of a funeral home), organized parties, conferences, trade fairs and workshops
  • Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities with more than 50 people
  • For example, pottery studios, art classes or choir rehearsals
  • Post-secondary student housing
  • Spectators at indoor youth sporting events with more than 50 people

It may look like you cannot access many services based on the listed above, but you still have options to visit/attend if you are not vaccinated yet, but of course, you are encouraged to get your doses as soon as you can to protect yourself and the people you love around you.

You don’t have to show proof of vaccination at places like:

  • Grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies
  • Unlicensed restaurants that don’t offer table service
  • For example, fast food, coffee shops, food courts, food trucks and takeout
  • Tasting rooms without seating attached to wineries, breweries, or distilleries
  • Local public transportation (BC Transit, TransLink, BC Ferries)
  • Salons, hairdressers, and barbers
  • Hotels, resorts, cabins, and campsites
  • It does not include settings or events covered by the PHO order, for example, a licensed hotel restaurant, wedding reception or conference.
  • It does not include exercise/fitness facilities for guests
  • Swimming pools and skating rinks 
  • It does not include events or adult sports hosted in these venues
  • Banks and credit unions
  • Retail and clothing stores
  • Public libraries, museums, and art galleries
  • It does not have events hosted in these venues
  • Food banks and shelters
  • Escape rooms, laser tag, indoor paintball and arcades
  • Only if they are unlicensed or don’t offer food-related table service
  • Post-secondary on-campus cafeterias
  • Airport food courts and restaurants
  • Health care services, rehabilitation or exercise therapy programs, and drug and alcohol support group meetings

Social services provided to people in need events like:

  • Worship services
  • Indoor youth recreational sport for people 21 years old or younger
  • Before and after school programs for K to 12 students
  • Student events and activities in K to 12 public and independent schools
  • Indoor organized events with less than 50 people, except adult sports

All the listed information above are Provincial requirements and the same as other provinces’ orders. Still, recently the Federal Government decided to add additional restrictions on non-vaccinated people. As a step to encourage people to take the vaccine, and by saying Federal orders, that means it does apply to all Canadian across the country. Federal public servants will have to attest to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 29 or face being put on leave without pay by Nov. 15. And anyone who wants to board a plane or train in Canada will have to prove they’re vaccinated by Oct. 30 with “limited exemptions,” the federal government has announced. There will be exemptions made for “certified medical contraindications,” as well as for religious reasons. Though, these accommodations will only be granted under specific parameters, including providing documented medical proof of the requirement for the exemption or testifying under oath to their religious beliefs, according to senior government officials that briefed reporters on the policy on a not-for-attribution basis, ahead of the announcement. In addition to being put on unpaid leave, employees who do not attest to their vaccination status or are unvaccinated will be required to take an online training session on COVID-19 vaccines. They will also not be able to access their workplace or any off-site events or meetings. Travel for business, including attending conferences, will also be prohibited. These work-related measures will also be imposed on partially-vaccinated workers, though they will have up to 10 weeks to receive their second dose before being put on unpaid leave.

In addition to federal workers, employees and passengers in the federally-regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors will have to be fully vaccinated as of Oct. 30. This means that any worker—including at retail or hospitality establishments in restricted sections of airports— or passengers boarding any domestic flights, or interprovincial trains or cruise ships will have to provide proof of vaccination. Ferry passengers are not included in these new rules.

There will be a short period where proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be acceptable to board on an airplane, though that option will no longer be available by the end of November. There will be limited exemptions for Indigenous communities that require fly-in services like medical care. This policy will apply to any passenger ages 12 and older, as they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. To qualify, people will have to have received their last dose 14 days before traveling.

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