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‘This is unchartered water’: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce reacts to vaccine card system

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Kelowna Chamber of Commerce reacts to vaccine card system – Sep 8, 2021

When the vaccine card system is introduced next week, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce expects front-line hospitality workers to bear the brunt of the impact.

“They will have to deal with customers as they come in to see both their ID and their proof of vaccination card or document, and that’s a cost,” said Dan Rogers, executive director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

B.C.’s vaccine card will have a QR code that businesses can scan or verify visually.

Read more: B.C. reports 814 new COVID-19 cases, no additional deaths

“One would assume that they’re just checking visually because the app, frankly, isn’t even ready yet,” Rogers said, noting that it won’t be ready until next week.

Global News contacted about a dozen businesses who will be affected by the vaccine card system but nobody wanted to comment at this point.

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Local businesses want regional restrictions lifted now that the vaccine card system is set to roll out. Courtesy: BC Government

However, Rogers said that of its members that responded to a survey, approximately 57 per cent support the vaccine card system if it helps business return to normal.

“If those coming into these establishments or attending these events are fully vaccinated, capacity should theoretically increase and that will help business recover,” Rogers said.

“That will create more employment and help the economy longer term. We haven’t got those details and we’ll be pressing for those going forward.”

Rogers also wants regional restrictions lifted and for bar sales to be able to continue after 10 p.m.

Read more: Vaccine passport protest in Kelowna, B.C. draws scant crowd

The City of Kelowna said that when the vaccine card system rolls out, bylaw officers will try to educate businesses that are ignoring the rules.

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“In cases of continued non-compliance, bylaw services will engage the appropriate enforcement agencies, such as environmental health officers, WorksafeBC, police or other provincial peace officers with the legislated authority to respond,” the city said in a news release.

Read more: Planning to visit B.C.? Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine card

Businesses who continue to fail to comply could be fined $2,300.

“Based on what we’ve heard from the province, they haven’t announced millions going into enforcement, so it’s likely to be complaint-driven,” Rogers said.

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