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Unvaccinated Vancouver police will have to pay for their own COVID-19 tests

The policy starts Dec. 30.
VPD officers will have to pay for their own COVID-19 tests.

Vancouver police officers who've decided not to get a COVID-19 vaccine are going to have to pay for that choice.

While the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) isn't requiring officers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus those who aren't getting their shots or who refuse to declare their vaccination status will have to be tested using rapid testing kits.

"Anyone who does not provide proof of vaccination will have to be tested regularly, depending on how often they work and they will have to pay for it themselves," writes VPD Sgt. Steve Addison in an email to Vancouver Is Awesome.

They have until Dec. 30 to get fully vaccinated, he adds. Until then the VPD doesn't know how many in its force are unvaccinated.

"We hope everyone will be fully vaccinated and will provide proof of their vaccination status by Dec. 30. We won't know until after the deadline whether we do, in fact, have 100 per cent compliance," writes Addison.

Nationwide, there's a split in police forces mandating vaccination for their staff and officers. The federal government mandated all federal employees must be vaccinated, which includes the RCMP. Municipal forces in Victoria and Toronto have also mandated their police forces must be vaccinated, while Vancouver joins Calgary and Edmonton.

Ottawa police initially were allowed to dodge vaccination if they got regularly tested, but that decision was revisited and a mandatory vaccination policy comes into effect Jan. 31, 2022. Halifax had a similar situation.

In Vancouver, along with the federally and provincially mandated public employees (like health care workers), the city has mandated all staff need to be fully vaccinated (which includes firefighters and parks staff). The city's library board has the same policy as well.