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City requires BC Vaccine Card for many services

By Don Fennell

Published 2:34 PDT, Wed September 15, 2021

Last Updated: 2:44 PDT, Wed September 15, 2021

The BC Vaccine Card is quickly becoming a vital personal tool.

Mandated by the province last month and officially rolled out Monday, it is necessary—along with government-issued photo ID—to access many places during the day. And that includes many city-operated facilities in Richmond.

The card, which can also be downloaded to your smartphone, appears to have received support from most patrons, with city communications director Clay Adams saying implementation has gone smoothly so far.

“Customers at our recreational facilities have been more than willing to show proof of vaccination on their phone, with many willing to present it for verification even when it is not required,” Adams says. “Richmond has been an advocate for community safety during the pandemic, and was the first Lower Mainland municipality to mandate the wearing of masks indoors. We encourage everyone to be vaccinated and to adhere to the requirements of the public health orders that are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe.”

In keeping with provincial orders, proof of vaccination—along with government-issued photo ID—must be presented for access to various recreational activities, programs and classes such as indoor adult sport and physical activity programs; indoor adult group and individual fitness of any type and intensity; organized indoor events such as parties, workshops and meetings; and as a spectator at any indoor events or competitions.

“We have not broadened the list of programs and activities where the BC Vaccine Card must be used,” he explains.

“Proof of vaccination is, of course, not currently required for activities such as swimming and public skating, or for organized recreational activities for anyone under 22 years of age,” Adams says. “That includes those adults required to support the activity such as volunteers, coaches and parents. Proof of vaccination is also not necessary for adult programs or activities that do not involve physical activity—visits to the libraries and museum/heritage sites, or for general access to common areas of facilities such as use of the washrooms, lounge areas and cafeterias.”

But, Adams stresses, one clarification that has arisen since the order was first issued is that for recreation purposes, an “adult” is anyone age 22 years or older. “It is also important to stress that the orders may change as time goes on, meaning people may be required to show proof of vaccination for other things or the reverse,” he explains. “We also continue to mandate the wearing of masks in all public spaces inside city-operated facilities.”

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