Will you need to show proof of vaccination for non-essential services in B.C. this fall?
Health Minister Adrian Dix stopped short of saying that the province will implement a vaccine passport system for non-essential services and events in the future. But he added that unvaccinated individuals will not have access to some services and events, regardless.
"It is not mandatory for a citizen to be vaccinated in B.C. but there are things that you may not be able to do if you're not vaccinated," underscored the health minister Thursday (Aug. 12).
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry added that people must have the ability to make the decision about their personal health. She noted that some people are unable to be immunized due to their health, too.
With that in mind, B.C.’s long-term care and assisted-living workers will be required to be fully vaccinated by October. Henry said the new order was being issued due to concerns about the higher level of severe illness and death for residents of such facilities if they do in fact contract COVID-19.
Health officials will also continue to look at other high-risk settings, particularly ones in health care, she added.
Vaccine passports for non-essential services in B.C.
In workplaces, sporting events, concerts, and faith services, people may be required to show proof of vaccination.
B.C.'s top doctor emphasized that "it is going to have an impact on your ability to do some of those things that you may want to do...attending a sports game is a good example."
Businesses will need to make their own decisions in conjunction with their lawyer labour advisors. She said employers are "absolutely" within their rights to require employees to be vaccinated: "That is a business decision."
Faith leaders should encourage "only immunized people" to attend services, added Henry.
"Those are decisions that faith leaders, communities, church groups, choirs, make for themselves; they don't need an order from me to do that."
Canada creating COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel
The Government of Canada has announced it's working with the provinces and territories to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Wednesday (Aug. 11) that the document should be ready by the "early fall" and will be digital with a paper option.
Mendicino said it will include data on the type of vaccines received, the dates and the location they were given.
Find out more about Canada's new vaccine passport program for travel.
With files from Tyler Orton