British Columbians can now access their COVID-19 vaccine card either online or over the phone.
Starting on Sept. 13, proof of immunization of one COVID-19 vaccine dose will be required to access “discretionary” social and recreational events. Proof of a second dose will be required as of Oct. 24.
When using the BC vaccine card, you can either show the QR code you will receive if you have a smartphone or show a printout. Those without access to a printer or smartphone can get access by calling the hotline at 1-833-838-2323.
“Getting vaccinated means we can bring people back together and do more, safely, and with confidence that we’re not putting those who aren’t fully vaccinated at risk,” Premier John Horgan said.
“We have made the BC Vaccine Card easy for people to get, and easy for businesses to check at a glance. The card is a significant step in getting our economy running on all cylinders, and returning to social events safely with the confidence that those around us are also fully vaccinated.”
Service BC centres will also be able to print out vaccine cards for people who need them.
Those who are under the age of 12 are exempt from the vaccine card because they are not yet eligible for the shot.
Businesses can either scan the QR code using a QR reader like a smartphone or tablet, or visually verify the person’s card and identity.
A mobile QR code-reader app will be released in app stores closer to Sept. 13 for business owners who choose to scan the QR code.
The use of the BC Vaccine Card will be phased in to allow people extra time to transition to their new cards.
From Sept. 13 to 26, people will also be able to use the paper vaccination records they received at vaccine clinics or pharmacies.
Only the BC Vaccine Card will be accepted as of Sept. 27.
In areas where community transmission is increased significantly or where there are outbreaks, the requirements to be fully vaccinated to access non-essential events and activities may be required earlier at the direction of a local medical health officer.
The vaccine will be required at indoor sporting events, restaurants, gyms, casinos, nightclubs and many other venues.
“There are alternatives people can do, like using takeout, if they do not get immunized,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
The plan is to eventually lift capacity limits at indoor events if COVID transmission goes down, she added. The province had originally planned to move to Step 4 of its restart plan, which is a removal of all capacity limits, on Tuesday. The easing of restrictions has been delayed due to higher-than-expected COVID case numbers.
For restaurants, proof of vaccination is only required for sit-down service and not for fast-food restaurants and cafeterias.
The vaccine card is not required at religious gatherings, schools, hospitals or any other essential service.
People who travel to B.C. from other provinces or territories must show a provincially or territorially recognized vaccine record and a valid government photo ID.
The province will share a list of acceptable out-of-province vaccine records with businesses.
International visitors must show the proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada and their passport.
Here is a full list of where vaccine cards will be required:
- Indoor ticketed sporting events
- Indoor concerts
- Indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
- Restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
- Pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and outdoor dining)
- Movie theatres
- Fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport)
- Businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
- Organized indoor events (eg. weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, workshops)
- Discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities
Watch the full press conference outlining details of B.C.’s new vaccine card: