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18 tickets issued, 1,266 COVID-related complaints received in B.C. over vaccine cards

Many discretionary businesses must check vaccination status of customers prior to letting them in
Ravi Kahlon, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, has his provincial COVID-19 vaccine card scanned by White Spot restaurant general manager Bill Warwick, before having breakfast in Delta, B.C., on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. British Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccine card system went into effect Monday. Anyone who wants access to a range of non-essential indoor services must show proof of at least one dose of vaccine, with a second shot required by Oct. 24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The province has handed out 18 COVID-19 related tickets in the five weeks since the vaccine card came into effect.

According to the public safety ministry, as of Tuesday (Oct. 19) there have been 1,266 complaints made to health authorities and the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. Of those, 903 complaints have been investigated and 536 of those have been worked out through education and compliance.

A total of 81 warning letters have been issue and health authorities, police, bylaw and the branch have carried out 37 “coordinated enforcement activities.”

The ministry said it couldn’t provide details on specific enforcement actions that are underway but that four closure notices have been issued to businesses, two liquor licences have been suspended and one business licence has been suspended.

The fight to enforce COVID measures made headlines on Wednesday when the province took Rolly’s Restaurant to court and applied for an injunction. The Hope restaurant had been operating without a business licence since it was taken away after the owners refused to check vaccine cards. Since Sept. 13, one dose of a COVID vaccine has been required to access a wide range of discretionary venues and activities, including restaurants and bars, gyms, movie theatres and ticketed or organized indoor events.

Businesses must check vaccine cards and identification prior to allowing customers into these venues. As of Oct. 24, patrons will need to be fully vaccinated.

READ MORE: Hope restaurant licence taken ‘illegally,’ business owner tells court


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