On August 23, 2021, the BC government announced two significant public health orders taking effect in the near future: Proof of Vaccination Requirement and Reinstatement of Mask Mandate.
Proof of Vaccination
Firstly, starting September 13, people in BC will be required to have at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose to access certain businesses and events. As of October 24, people in BC will be required to have had two doses for at least seven days to access those same businesses and events.
Individuals will be required to show proof of vaccination at the following businesses and events:
- indoor ticketed sporting events
- indoor concerts
- indoor theatre/dance/symphony events
- restaurants (indoor and patio dining)
- night clubs
- movie theatres
- fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport)
- businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
- organized indoor events (e.g. weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, workshops)
- discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities
The measures will be in force until January 31, 2022, subject to possible extension. Details of how vaccination status will be documented have yet to be announced.
At this point, it is unclear whether the public health order will require employees at these businesses and events to meet these same requirements, but logically this would appear likely.
Reinstatement of the Indoor Mask Mandate
As of August 25, people at least 12 and older are required to wear masks in the following indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status:
- malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores;
- liquor and drug stores;
- airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
- restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated);
- on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
- areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided;
- common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity;
- common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations; and
- inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4-12.
The provincial government says that the return of an indoor mask mandate is a temporary measure that will be reassessed as the proof of vaccination requirement is fully implemented over the coming months.
The information above is a summary of recent news releases. We expect further details and information to be released in the coming days and weeks. If you are considering taking action to comply with these or any other health orders, such as implementing a mandatory vaccination policy, we recommend you contact us to discuss: