Starting Sept. 13, anyone over the age of 12 will need to show they've had at least one dose (rising to two doses on Oct. 24) to enter what the province is calling "higher risk social and recreational settings and events."
These include dine-in restaurants, gyms, indoor ticketed events, pubs, bars, casinos and movie theatres. As well, indoor wedding receptions, conferences and events with 50 or more people will require proof of vaccination. No proof will be required for "grab-and-go" fast food or take-out.
On Monday, the province also soft-launched a website that can be used to access a QR code indicating vaccination status. However, the app that businesses will need to scan QR codes won't be available until Sept. 13.
The Chamber called on government to ensure the vaccine card did not increase the burden on business. There remain concerns about the cost of screening customers, and The Chamber wants to hear from members who encounter any challenges with the program.
A transition period will run until Sept. 26, during which the cards received from vaccine clinics will suffice as proof.
"All of us want to avoid further restrictions on business, and the data shows COVID is much less of a risk when people are fully vaccinated," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "We all want to put the pandemic behind us, and immunization continues to be our way forward."
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, the current surge in cases is primarily occurring in people who are unvaccinated. One of the goals of requiring proof of vaccination is to prompt those who are not vaccinated to get their shots.