As part of its anti-COVID Measures, British Columbia will require that anyone attending social events or popular attractions such as casinos will need to provide proof of vaccination. The number of active cases has risen sharply over the past seven weeks, and authorities are keen to impose these new vaccination mandates to curb the spread of infection.
How Will Casinos Be Affected by the New Vaccine Mandate?
The vaccine mandate goes into effect on Sept. 13. Officials issued the order on Monday, citing a substantial increase in caseloads in the province. The seven-day rolling average was 36.1 instances per day on July 4. The province recorded 641 new cases on Tuesday.
The high increase in infections has occurred despite the fact that COVID-19 Tracker Canada data shows that more than 76.1% of eligible BC citizens of 12 or older, equal to 3.5 million people, are fully vaccinated.
The mandate requires anyone attending a public gathering to show proof of vaccination before they can enter. This will affect indoor businesses such as land-based casinos, where all visitors will need to prove they’ve been vaccinated in order to attend and play.
Individuals who want to visit a casino will receive instructions on how to upload their vaccination records to an internet portal in the coming weeks. They’ll be able to save that record to their phones and show it at the door before entering.
Until the Sept. 13 deadline, eligible people who have already gotten one dose of the vaccine will be able to attend public events and mingle with other vaccinated people. On Oct. 24, all eligible residents must be fully vaccinated. In Canada, this is defined as having gotten the second dose within the last seven days.
Chuck Keeling, Great Canadian Gaming’s executive vice president for stakeholder relations and responsible gambling, gave the following statement on the vaccine mandate:
“We are currently working on how best to operationalize the introduction of proof of vaccination from our guests at our BC properties, beginning on Sept. 13.”
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry added:
“While our vaccination rate continues to rise, we are still seeing waves of transmission, primarily amongst those who are not fully vaccinated. These new measures will help reduce transmission and keep our communities safe and ensure we can continue to keep businesses open and safely enjoy much-needed social events.”
The forthcoming vaccine mandate isn’t the only measure taken by BC health officials to halt the virus’s spread. They announced on Tuesday that an obligatory mask rule would take effect on Wednesday.
The BC casinos were shuttered in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and stayed closed until June 30, a closure that impacted thousands of workers. It’s not currently known how long these measures will stay in place. Still, it’s likely that for the foreseeable future, at least, Canadians will need to show proof of their vaccination before entering a casino.
Editor’s Note: Dear reader, you’re currently going through an archived news article from our Casino News section that might be outdated. For the newest developments within the igaming industry, kindly visit our homepage.