B.C. vaccine cards: No violation tickets issued to businesses so far, province says

B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon has his provincial COVID-19 vaccine card scanned by White Spot restaurant general manager Bill Warwick, before having breakfast in Delta, B.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C.'s vaccine card system has been in place for one week and so far, no businesses have received a violation ticket for flouting the rules.

As of Sept. 13, anyone visiting discretionary businesses like sit-down restaurants, movie theatres and fitness centres must show proof that they've had at least one COVID-19 shot. By Oct. 24, they'll need to show proof they're fully vaccinated.

Since the program's launch, some businesses and individuals have protested the system

One video shared on social media over the weekend showed customers arguing with staff and other customers about the province's proof-of-vaccination rules. 

Some B.C. businesses have also protested the vaccine card. A Facebook group called BC Businesses against Health Pass has more than 132,000 members and claims its members "believe in medical privacy, and your own personal choice." Meanwhile, some individual businesses have claimed on their social media accounts they won't require proof of vaccination.

Even so, B.C.'s public safety ministry says "no violation tickets have been issued" to businesses since the launch of the new public health order.

"However, complaints are under review," a statement from the ministry sent to CTV News Vancouver says.

The ministry says enforcement may be complaint-driven or conducted by compliance and enforcement officials while they're carrying out their regular responsibilities.

Proof that a person has had one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine is not required at businesses deemed essential, such as on transit or at grocery stores. A card also doesn't need to be shown when stopping at a restaurant just to pick up a takeout order.

The card is not required in order to vote in the Sept. 20 federal election, nor is it required to access government services.

The vaccine-card requirement will be temporary and is in place until Jan. 31, but the program may be extended.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Alissa Thibault