VANCOUVER — Last Tuesday, the B.C. government announced additional details about how the vaccination-card program will be implemented starting today. In response, Restaurants Canada is calling on the B.C. government to address questions and concerns regarding the hospitality industry.
First, the government confirmed that the vaccination-card program will only apply to table-service guests, not quick-service restaurants, food courts, drive-thrus, or takeout and delivery. Impacted businesses will be able to download an app to read a QR code and determine proof of vaccination. Businesses that choose not to download the app, however, can visually verify proof of vaccination in addition to a second piece of identification.
The government also announced a transition period from Sept. 13 to Sept. 27, 2021 to give people time to obtain a vaccination card. During this time, customers can simply show their vaccination record with a second piece of identification. By Oct. 24, 2021, British Columbians must be fully vaccinated if they want to access certain events, services and businesses.
In response to this announcement, Restaurants Canada had asked the government to pilot the app with a few participating restaurants prior to implementation in order to solve any technical issues. In addition, the association has also asked for a two-week grace period before enforcement begins and an industry webinar to answer any questions.
Finally, Restaurants Canada is asking the government to provide financial support to businesses to cover labour and administrative costs of implementing the vaccination program as well as lost sales that might occur in areas where vaccination rates are low.