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Everything You Need to Know About British Columbia’s Vaccine Passport

British Columbia News
by Alex Bresler Sep 13, 2021

British Columbia is the latest destination to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access certain establishments and events. The BC Vaccine Card rollout will be enforced in two stages: As of Monday, September 13, Canada’s westernmost province requires proof of partial vaccination, meaning at least one dose of a certified COVID-19 vaccine, while proof of two doses or full vaccination will be mandated on October 24. This mandate is currently in effect until January 31, 2022, with the option to be renewed.

If you live in British Columbia or have plans to visit, and are at least 12 years old, here’s everything you need to know about the BC Vaccine Card.

What’s required to get a vaccine pass?

To obtain a BC Vaccine Card, residents of the province are required to submit their date of birth, Personal Health Number, and date of vaccination through the provincial government’s online Health Gateway. Residents who already have a Health Gateway account can log in using their BC Services Card App. Entering this information will yield unique QR codes that will serve as proof of partially or fully vaccinated status. In addition to the BC Vaccine Card, British Columbia residents should be prepared to show a government ID such as a driver’s license or passport.

A grace period has been set to ensure a smooth transition to the BC Vaccine Card system. Through September 26, alternate forms of documentation will be accepted as proof of vaccination, including an immunization record issued by your vaccine clinic, pharmacy, or the National Defence of Canada; a printed immunization record from Health Gateway; a Provincial Immunization Registry or Immunize BC record; or immunization records from health authorities such as Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, or Northern Health.

How can international travelers provide proof of vaccination?

Residents of Canada visiting British Columbia from elsewhere in the country will be required to show an officially recognized vaccine record issued from their province or territory alongside a government ID. The rule is similar for international visitors. Any vaccination record that granted foreign nationals entry into Canada, such as the one uploaded in ArriveCAN, will be accepted as proof of vaccination in British Columbia in conjunction with a passport for proof of identification.

Where is proof of vaccination required?

As a rule, anyone over the age of 12 looking to recreate indoors in British Columbia should be prepared to show proof of vaccination. This includes dining and drinking venues outfitted for indoor and patio seating, fitness facilities, entertainment venues such as movie theaters and casinos, performing arts centers, sports arenas, venues facilitating team sports and classes, and organized events such as weddings and workshops with 50 or more people.

Where is proof of vaccination not required?

Day-to-day services are largely exempt from the BC Vaccine Card mandate. Included in this list are grocery and liquor stores, pharmacies, banks, retails stores, local public transportation, dining facilities without indoor and patio seating such as coffee shops and fast-food restaurants, food banks and shelters, hairdressers, entertainment venues without table service such as arcades and bowling alleys, and accommodations such as hotels and campsites unless it’s being used as a venue for organized events of 50 or more people.

Exemptions also apply to certain events, including worship services, K-12 school programs and activities, recreational sports for participants who are 19 years old or younger, and organized events with fewer than 50 people with the exception of adult sporting events. For a more complete list of examples, consult the British Columbia government website.

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