BC Proof of Vaccination Information for Businesses

Last updated: October 24, 2021

Some events, services and businesses are required to check a person’s proof of vaccination for access to their venue or space. The requirements are made by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).

Scroll down for information on the following:

Visit the BC Government website for more information.

Visit our BC Proof of Vaccination Requirements page for individual-specific details.


PHO Order on Proof of Vaccination

By order of the PHO, some events, services and businesses are required to check a person’s proof of vaccination for service and access to their venue or space. This applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+).

You must verify that people are fully vaccinated. Failure to follow the PHO order may result in a fine. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022 and could be extended.

Places Proof of Vaccination is Required for Entry

You must verify every customer’s proof of vaccination, every time they enter your business or event:

  • Indoor ticketed sporting events with more than 50 people
  • Indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events with more than 50 people
  • Licensed restaurants and cafes and restaurants and cafes that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)
    • Includes liquor tasting rooms in wineries, breweries or distilleries
  • Pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
  • Nightclubs, casinos and movie theatres
  • Gyms, exercise and dance facilities or studios
    • Includes these activities happening in recreation facilities
  • Businesses offering indoor exercise/fitness
  • Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older
  • Indoor organized events with more than 50 people
    • For example, weddings, funeral receptions (outside of a funeral home), organized parties, conferences, trade fairs and workshops
  • Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities with more than 50 people
    • For example, pottery studios, art classes or choir rehearsals
  • Post-secondary student housing
  • Spectators at indoor youth sporting events with more than 50 people

Places Proof of Vaccination is Not Required for Entry

You don’t have to check proof of vaccination at places like:

  • Grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies
  • Unlicensed restaurants that don’t offer table service
    • For example, fast food, coffee shops, food courts, food trucks and takeout
  • Tasting rooms without seating attached to wineries, breweries or distilleries
  • Local public transportation (BC Transit, TransLink, BC Ferries)
  • Salons, hairdressers and barbers
  • Hotels, resorts, cabins and campsites
    • Does not include settings or events covered by the PHO order, for example, a licensed hotel restaurant, wedding reception or conference
    • Does not include exercise/fitness facilities for guests
  • Swimming pools and skating rinks
    • Does not include events or adult sports hosted in these venues
  • Banks and credit unions
  • Retail and clothing stores
  • Public libraries, museums and art galleries
    • Does not include events hosted in these venues
  • Food banks and shelters
  • Escape rooms, laser tag, indoor paint ball and arcades
    • Only if they are unlicensed or don’t offer food-related table service
  • Post-secondary on-campus cafeterias
  • Airport food courts and restaurants
  • Health care services, rehabilitation or exercise therapy programs, and drug and alcohol support group meetings
  • Social services provided to people in need
  • Events like:
    • Worship services
    • Indoor youth recreational sport for people 21 years old or younger
    • Before and after school programs for K to 12 students
    • Student events and activities in K to 12 public and independent schools
    • Indoor organized events with less than 50 people, except adult sports

Register to get vaccinated today.


What the BC Vaccine Card Looks Like

People can save the digital version to their phone or tablet or print a paper copy to carry in their wallet. Businesses must accept both options.

Digital Card

Paper Card


Verifying BC Proof of Vaccination

Step 1: Verify Proof of Vaccination

The quickest and most secure option is using the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app. You can also verify proof visually.

Using the app to verify QR codes

Scan a customer’s QR code using the designated app. The customer will have their QR code on their phone or on a piece of paper. The app will verify their proof of vaccination.

Visual Verification

You can perform a visual verification. On a person’s BC Vaccine Card, make sure their name and vaccination details are visible.

Note: Members of the Canadian Armed Forces aren’t required to get a BC Vaccine Card and you have to perform a visual verification.

Step 2: Review ID

After verifying proof of vaccination, you must also review ID. By reviewing ID, you match the name listed on the BC Vaccine Card or another form of proof of vaccination with the person you’re verifying.

You don’t need to check ID for youth aged 12 to 18.

Accepted forms of valid government photo ID, for example:

  • B.C. driver’s licence or BC Services Card
  • Passport

Some people may have their legal name on their vaccine card and a preferred or common name on their ID. You may also ask for a secondary piece of ID and use discretion.

When Names Don’t Match

Some people may have their legal name on their vaccine card and a preferred or common name on their ID. You may also ask for a secondary piece of ID and use discretion.


Verifying Out-Of-Province Proof of Vaccination

You may have people who aren’t from B.C. accessing your events, services and businesses. They must follow the same requirements and provide proof of vaccination and ID.

People from Other Provinces or Territories

People from other Canadian provinces or territories must show:

  • Provincially/territorially officially recognized vaccine record
  • Valid government photo ID

Download examples of Canadian immunization records.

International Visitors

International visitors must show:

  • Proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada (like ArriveCAN)
  • Passport


Use the BC Vaccine Card Verifier App

Download the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The app is free to download and works on smartphones and tablets:

How to Use the App

With an internet connection, download the app to your device. You can download the app on multiple devices. You must allow the app to access your device camera.

After you’ve finished downloading, you can continue to use the app offline. No internet connection is required to scan QR codes.

A QR code is a square-shaped image and is a type of bar code that can be read by a digital device. B.C. is using the SMART Health Card QR code format, a requirement of the federal government. This means the QR code only stores the absolute minimum level of information and is not connected to other health records.

How to Scan a Vaccine Card

Allow access to camera

Scan a digital card

Scan a printed copy

What You’ll See After Scanning

Partially Vaccinated

Fully Vaccinated

Invalid QR Code


Privacy

The QR code is a personal document. You can’t take a photo of a customer’s vaccine card, even if they consent. If a customer is concerned about privacy, you can tell them:

  • The BC Vaccine Card Verifier app does not store any data
  • The QR code contains the minimum information required to verify a vaccination record
  • The vaccine card system is not connected to any other health records

Recording Customer Proof of Vaccination

To make return visits easier, you can record a customer who has provided proof of vaccination. For example, a gym may wish to record a member who has already shown their vaccine card for quicker access.

If you wish to record a customer’s proof of vaccination status, you must:

  • Get the customer’s written consent
  • Allow the customer to withdraw their consent later
  • Delete all records once the proof of vaccination requirement is lifted, or when the customer withdraws consent

Employee Privacy

Businesses should not ask to see an employee’s BC Vaccine Card unless the employee is accessing the location or event as a customer.

Organizations can enforce their own vaccination policies, but they must do their own due diligence.

 


Get Support

The Government of British Columbia has put together various resources regarding the BC Vaccine Card for businesses.

Print-Ready Posters

Guidance Documents

Need More Help?

If you need more information or have questions about the BC Vaccine Card, talk to a phone agent. Call 1-833-838-2323, select option 1, and then option 3.

Outside Canada and the USA: 604-681-4261

Translators are available | Seven days a week, 7 am to 7 pm (PDT)


Enforcement

Businesses and organizations that do not comply with the PHO order may be issued a violation ticket.

Depending on the violation, individuals could be subject to a $230 or $575 violation ticket. Owners, operators and event organizers could be subject to a $2,300 violation ticket.

Employees will not be fined for failing to check someone’s vaccine card. Owners, operators and event organizers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the PHO order.

Enforcement of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act is at the discretion of enforcement officers, including police, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gambling investigators and conservation officers. Environmental Health Officers from local Health Authorities may issue violation tickets under the Public Health Act.

Customers Who Refuse to Show Proof of Vaccination

You must not permit any customer who has not shown proof of vaccination to remain on the premises. You have the right to refuse service to anyone who is not abiding by the PHO orders.

If any employee feels threatened, they should avoid confrontation and call 911.

Legal Liability

Businesses that are included in the BC Vaccine Card PHO order are protected for actions they take under the order.

Businesses not covered by the PHO order are not protected and must do their own due diligence.