Technically, this should be called COVID -19 in British Columbia (BC). I understand Alberta isn’t quite on the same page as BC 😊.
We had to be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test before crossing into British Columbia from Washington. BC has a fairly high vaccination rate. According to the Canadian COVID tracker, 81%+ eligible residents have been fully vaccinated. That is pretty impressive from my viewpoint! COVID 19 cases are climbing there in (unvaccinated) children, while declining in other age groups. It is interesting that children aged 5-8 don’t have to wear a mask at school, while children 9 and older do.
As of mid-September, vaccine ‘passports’ are required by order of the Provincial Health Officer for non-essential BC businesses, such as restaurants and gyms. There are some loopholes to the new requirement, such as counter service takeout establishments and cafes (like Starbucks).
We got to experience this requirement firsthand during our recent trip to BC. All the restaurants were checking vaccine status and ID either at the door or at the reception desk. We had our U.S. vaccine cards and passports ready and that worked slick. Even though the requirement is new; it seemed like it was already old hand to most businesses. I asked one of the restaurant staff about her experience with vaccine passports so far. She said that she hadn’t received any complaints or push back from customers. But she did say that one of her colleagues had some unhappy customers.
Of course, there are bound to be some challenges. Here is a recent article from the Vancouver Sun about ‘anti-vaxxers’. Apparently anti-vaxxers are ‘punishing’ compliant restaurants by making reservations and then not showing.
In response to the no shows, restaurants are now requiring a reservation deposit. If the person doesn’t show, they are out the money. We experienced this when we ate at Chambar last week. We had to use our credit card to make the reservation and were told that we would be charged $50 if we didn’t show (or cancel in a timely manner).
Like in Washington, masks are being worn indoors. We did find that once we were seated at a restaurant, the masks quickly came off. Tables were close together and people were behaving like they were out to eat in 2019.
Everyone was fully vaxxed……but still!