With less than two weeks to go before BC introduces a proof of vaccination requirement on Sept. 13, The Chamber continues to work with our partner organizations to ensure the program does not unduly burden staff and businesses while protecting our community.
The Chamber has been a vocal supporter of BC's immunization campaign, including through our #ChamberChangemaker initiative.
"We recognize that vaccines are the path forward and we continue to encourage full vaccinations as the best way to keep ourselves and each other safe," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "What we want from government is assurance that the proof of vaccination requirement will be rolled out in a way that doesn't penalize businesses whose staff are already working at capacity."
The BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, for example, supports the plan but says it is vital there be a "clear implementation plan, simple rules,
hands-on training and industry support."
Quebec was the first province to launch a vaccine passport, with its app going live today. Quebecers will have a two-week leniency period before penalties of up to $6,000 for vaccine passport fraud will be enforced. Ontario also announced today its plan to introduce proof of vaccination requirements by Sept. 22, with an app available Oct. 22.
In BC, people will need to have at least one dose by Sept. 13 to be allowed in specified settings. That requirement will shift to fully vaccinated for at least seven days as of Oct. 24. The measures will be re-assessed on Jan. 31, 2022, to determine if an extension is required.
The province has not disclosed exactly how penalties will be enforced. We expect businesses will be subject to inspections as with the current mask mandate.
The Chamber adheres to the direction and advice of BC's Provincial Health Officer. We also recognize that many people are struggling with the uncertainty of the pandemic and specifically the Delta variant. We'd like to hear from Chamber members about your questions and concerns regarding BC's Proof of Vaccination proposal. Please keep your commentary civil. We will share productive feedback anonymously with decision makers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.