It will be business as usual for vaccinated Albertans visiting British Columbia.
They can access their immunization records before they cross the B.C. border where COVID-19 vaccine passports will be required for B.C. residents to visit restaurants, clubs and attend events. The province said Albertans can find their personal vaccination status at — myhealth.alberta.ca — and can use their documents when visiting B.C.
On Monday British Columbia announced that people will need to be vaccinated to get into restaurants, clubs, ticketed sporting events and organized affairs like weddings due to the rising number of COVID cases.
Starting Sept. 13, people will have to show proof of having had a single dose of a vaccine to enter gyms, fitness centres and casinos. After Oct. 24, those aged 12 and up will need to be fully vaccinated at least seven days earlier and only children below that age will be exempt from entering establishments if they are with adults who have been fully vaccinated.
B.C. businesses will be required to look for proof of vaccination at least until January, and there won’t be any exemptions for those who haven’t had two shots because it’s a temporary measure.
B.C.’s decision has not changed Alberta’s stance on vaccine passports.
Premier Jason Kenney’s office provided the Advocate with a statement made by Kenney in the Legislature on July 12 that said his government has been clear that it will not facilitate, or accept, vaccine passports.
“I believe that they would, in principle, contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. We also amended the Public Health Act to remove the 110-year-old power allowing Alberta to force people to be inoculated. So these folks who are concerned about mandatory vaccines have nothing to be concerned about and there will be no vaccine passports in Alberta,” Kenney said at that time.
Rene Rondeau, executive director at Tourism Red Deer, said B.C.’s announcement is so fresh it’s difficult to say how it will impact the Red Deer area businesses.
“We’re finding that there’s still a lot of people are staying close to home, especially with the fourth wave. I think people are still reluctant to travel,” Rondeau said.
He said last year local tourists were mostly Red Deer-area residents.
“This summer we saw more from the Edmonton, Calgary areas. We saw more of the provincial Highway 2 travellers,” Rondeau said.
Tracy Kelly, marketing and communication manager at Westerner Park, said Red Deer’s major sport and entertainment venue has followed the COVID-19 guidelines established by Alberta Health Services throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.
“We keep following the AHS guidelines. Could that change? Of course. We’ve seen that throughout the pandemic. Things are constantly evolving and we’ll be on top of it for sure,” Kelly said.
Most remaining COVID-19 public restrictions in Alberta were lifted on July 1. Remaining restrictions will be lifted on Sept. 27, including mandatory isolation for 10 days for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
— With files from The Canadian Press