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British Columbia to introduce vaccine card for activities, events, restaurants

Last Updated Aug 23, 2021 at 5:03 pm EDT

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.'s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA – British Columbia is bringing in a vaccine card for residents to access 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.

She says the new measures will help reduce transmission of the virus and allow businesses to remain open for those 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; and nightclubs and casinos, fitness centres and organized indoor events such as weddings and parties.

Quebec announced in early August that the province would launch a similar proof-of-vaccination system. Health Minister Christian Dubé said a vaccine passport would be put in place by September in areas where COVID-19 outbreaks occur, requiring people to prove they are vaccinated to enter places such as gyms and bars and where virus transmission is high.

A recent poll suggests that most Canadians support a system requiring proof of vaccination to access some non-essential services as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.

Seventy-six per cent of respondents to the survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they would strongly or somewhat support a vaccine passport like the one Quebec is implementing.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said his province will not make vaccine passports mandatory. The Premier says he has “never believed in proof” and that “everyone gets their proof when they get the vaccination.”

The Toronto Blue Jays, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and Mirvish Theatre all recently implemented a proof-of-vaccination system.

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