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B.C. vax passports sticking around for now as other provinces ditch theirs

Provincial officials will review program in coming weeks and months
bcvaxcard (1)
The B.C. vaccine card program remains slated to end June 30 even as other province announces plans to ditch their own vaccine passports

B.C. is sticking by its vaccine passport even as it eases some restrictions while other provinces phase out their own vaccine certificate programs.

The province unveiled plans Tuesday to lift restrictions on everything from capacity limits at seated venues to dancing at nightclubs.

But a new expiry date for the B.C. vaccine card program was not offered up by provincial officials. 

Instead, the program still remains set to expire June 30. Provincial officials did confirm they would be reviewing measures by mid-March and once again by mid-April.

“British Columbians have been comfortable to be an outlier on a number of fronts and we’ve done so because we want to ensure that the sacrifices that people have made over the past two years are not in vain,” Premier John Horgan said Tuesday.

When provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced in late January the program was being extended into the summer, she said it would leave the door open to “adjustments” to the B.C. vaccine card in the coming months.

“There are reasons that we’re keeping it in place but really it’s being able to take away capacity limits and still have mitigation of risk in those settings,” Henry said after the easing of restrictions were announced Tuesday.

The certificates, which are required to enter discretionary venues such as restaurants or cinemas, were introduced in September 2021 as COVID-19 cases were on the rise amid the Delta variant wave.

Provincial authorities slated a Jan. 31, 2022, end date at that time with the possibility of extending it past the end of last month.

The Omicron variant later swept in, sending COVID-19 cases surging to all-time records in B.C. as well as other jurisdictions across the globe.

Cases have been on the wane and other provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, have either ditched their own vaccine passports or else announced an imminent end date.

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