What will B.C.’s vaccine card look like? Restaurant industry suggests it will be colour-coded

The BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association says the province is suggesting a colour-coded system for the new vaccine card, in order to make it easier for staff to identify who can and cannot enter.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Green could mean go if you are hoping to eat at a restaurant come mid-September, according to a leader in B.C.’s restaurant sector.

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association CEO Ian Tostenson says the province is suggesting a colour-coded system for the new vaccine card, in order to make it easier for staff.

On Monday, the province revealed people will need to show the card starting Sept. 13 at several non-essential businesses and settings.

It includes indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars.

Calling it the “concept of the concept,” he says he met with the province on Monday about what the vax status card would look like.

“So it would be green, amber, white, was the example that they used. Green would be two-vaxxed, amber would be one shot, and white would be no shot. And so that would handle the smartphone application. If people don’t have a smartphone, what we will probably see is you can go to the website you can download the certificate and just carry it with you,” Tostenson said.

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The industry will continue to work with officials over the next 10 days on the details of the proof-of-vaccination.

“We don’t want our staff to be burdened down with a cumbersome program and it looks like that isn’t going to happen,” Tostenson said adding, “the challenge now for us is to make sure the implementation of this and the execution of this is easy. Easy for our staff and easy for our guests.”

He suggests a cheat sheet for staff to help them navigate the new rules.

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The Association hopes these measures give hesitant customers the confidence to come back to in-person dining.

There is concern some will respond negatively, especially in businesses that are close to the border where travellers may not know of the new requirement.

Restaurants in the Interior are facing even more challenges, as they are under targeted health orders, due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the region. That has led to conflicts with some customers from out-of-province in recent days, according to Tostenson.

“We’ve had some difficulty in the Okanagan with people from Alberta that just have a different view on these sort of things.”

He says there have been incidents of visitors not wanting to wear a mask or keep the size of their dining party small.

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“I think we will probably have to make sure there’s good signage to remind people this is a provincial health order,” he suggests as a possible solution.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says she is aware there may be pushback to the vaccine card.

“There may be a small group who are protesting against this, as they have for other measures along the way. As it is a provincial health officer order, we do have the ability to support businesses with bylaw officers, with environmental health officers, and we will continue to work with them to support businesses in a way that’s effective.”

For his part, Tostenson says he hopes customers “can either jump on board and get a vaccination or just sit it out for a bit.”

Henry says the Interior may actually be first for the rollout, as it remains a provincial hot spot for COVID-19 cases.

“We will be having discussions about whether we can put some measures in place sooner rather than later. So we may use it as an opportunity to test some of the vaccine card initiative,” Henry said Monday.

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