British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine card system is now in effect as the province aims to curtail cases and hospitalizations in the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Anyone who wants to access a range of non-essential indoor settings must show proof of at least one dose of vaccine, with a second shot required by Oct. 24.
The digital or paper vaccine card is required at settings such as ticketed sports events, concerts, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos, gyms and movie theatres.
The card will not be required at grocery and liquor stores, pharmacies, fast food restaurants, salons, hotels, banks, retail stores, food banks and shelters.
Showing proof of vaccination is not required to vote in the Sept. 20 federal election.
The province says the system is in place until Jan. 31, 2022 and could be extended.
The vaccine card has spurred protests, including outside hospitals in B.C.
While some in the business community have expressed concern that would-be patrons who are upset about the vaccine card could threaten the safety of staff, Premier John Horgan has told businesses to call law enforcement if necessary.
Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba have also introduced vaccine passport programs.
The most recent update from the B.C. government showed almost 79 per cent of eligible residents over the age of 12 had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 86 per cent had received at least one shot.
There were 5,850 active COVID-19 infections across the province on Friday, the last day for which figures were available.
For more information on the vaccine card, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html.
—The Canadian Press