Premier says police will enforce vaccine card rules

Premier John Horgan has told B.C. ­businesses to call the police if they face abuse from unvaccinated people trying to enter their establishments without a B.C. vaccine card.

Horgan made the remarks at a news conference at Logan Lake on Friday

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“With respect to enforcement, it’s not unlike with respect to nightclubs or in the hospitality sector,” the premier said.

“If they have trouble with patrons, they call law enforcement and that’s what I would expect to happen.”

Starting Sept. 13, proof of one ­vaccination will be required to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos, sporting events, gyms and theatres. As of Oct. 24, proof of two vaccinations will be needed.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced a jump in the number of new COVID-19 cases, 867 news cases, up from the 724 reported on Thursday.

The premier brushed off an unconfirmed report that someone in Nanaimo is already selling fake vaccination cards.

“They won’t be able to sell fake vaccination cards because they don’t [yet] exist,” he said, adding the province is planning for the possibility of fraudulent cards. “The technology is pretty developed here in B.C. which is internal to government and forgeries may appear but I don’t believe they will be successful.”

The province has yet to work out the details of its vaccine card program, but has said it will be available online to download to smartphones and it is working on a hard copy version that people can carry with them.

Meanwhile, some B.C. businesses have vowed to flout the rules and not ask patrons to prove their vaccination status.

Horgan said that would be regrettable, but he believes those businesses will be in the minority.

“We’re taking measured steps based on advice from business and if some businesses want to disregard that, then patrons will decide where they want to go,” he said. “Consumers are supporting this and I think that’s why most businesses are excited about it.”

Despite rising COVID-19 case counts, the premier said he does not regret introducing the B.C. vaccine card program earlier.

“I think British Columbians have been on this program from the beginning and that’s why we have such extraordinary uptake on the vaccines,” said Horgan.

“So this last push was to protect and give some comfort to those who have taken steps that they have confidence when they attend a Canucks game or sit in a theatre or when they’re gathering with people in the community, that people are doing that confident that their neighbours are taking the same steps to protect themselves.”

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