B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlined the new COVID-19 vaccine certificate program that will be required for people to access various social, recreational and discretionary businesses and events.
Starting Sept. 13, people will need to have at least one dose, with entry requiring those 12 and older to have been fully vaccinated seven days after second dose. The businesses and events will include indoor ticketed sporting events and concerts, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, gyms, organized events like weddings and other events like choirs.
The province’s premier, John Horgan, and Health Minister Adrian Dix also attended the briefing.
Dix said that in mid-August, the COVID-19 case rate was 10 times higher in those unvaccinated than compared to vaccinated, and only eight per cent of those in hospital are those who are fully vaccinated. He stressed being unvaccinated puts the person, their family and the community at risk. He also advised it was unlikely the province would be moving into the next step of reopening by the earliest date of Sept. 7 in part due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
Henry also said that the new COVID-19 vaccine certificate, while it is only going to be a temporary measure, it will not provide any exemptions except for those under 12 as they cannot get vaccinated at this time. She also spoke about visitors from out of province, saying they would require people to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19 from their province, and those outside of the country would need the proper procedures necessary when travelling into Canada.
Henry added that at this time, they plan to have the certificate in place until January, though they would consistently be reassessing through the fall.