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General News · 13th October 2021
Manda Aufochs Gillespie
There has been a lot of confusion as to whether and how the new VACCINE PASS MANDATES apply to organizations on Cortes Island. And, well, it’s pretty confusing. I started looking into this more thoroughly based on my work with some of the island nonprofits. The new Vaccine Pass Mandates are for “social, recreation and discretionary events and businesses” according to Bonnie Henry and are not for essential services. Yet, almost every business and nonprofit on Cortes feels essential. So what are the rules and which ones might apply to you, your business, or your favourite community organization? Take a look at these resources to help guide you, and don’t miss the list of Essential Services at the bottom.

The Vaxx Pass is primarily intended for those activities or businesses providing nonessential services. The list of places BC is asking to require or not require vaxxine mandates is taken from the Government of BC website on 10/13/2021. To see the entire list or check for changes visit:

Here is a list of places requiring VAXX PASS:
Indoor ticketed sporting events with more than 50 people
Indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events with more than 50 people
Licensed restaurants and cafes and restaurants and cafes that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)
Pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
Nightclubs, casinos and movie theatres
Gyms, exercise and dance facilities or studios
Includes these activities happening in recreation facilities
Businesses offering indoor exercise/fitness
Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older
Indoor organized events with more than 50 people
For example, wedding and funeral receptions (outside of a funeral home), organized parties, conferences, trade fairs and workshops
Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities with more than 50 people
For example, pottery studios, art classes or choir rehearsals
Post-secondary student housing
Spectators at indoor youth sporting events with more than 50 people

Here are places that don’t requires VAXX PASS:
Grocery stores, liquor stores and pharmacies
Unlicensed restaurants that don't offer table service
For example, fast food, coffee shops, food courts, food trucks and takeout (examples of restaurants “pausing” their liquor license in order to comply)
Tasting rooms without seating attached to wineries, breweries or distilleries
Local public transportation (BC Transit, TransLink, BC Ferries)
Salons, hairdressers and barbers
Hotels, resorts, cabins and campsites
Does not include settings or events covered by the PHO order, for example, a licensed hotel restaurant, wedding reception or conference
Does not include exercise/fitness facilities for guests
Swimming pools and skating rinks
Does not include events or adult sports hosted in these venues
Banks and credit unions
Retail and clothing stores
Public libraries, museums and art galleries
Does not include events hosted in these venues
Food banks and shelters
Escape rooms, laser tag, indoor paint ball and arcades
Only if they are unlicensed or don't offer food-related table service
Post-secondary on-campus cafeterias
Airport food courts and restaurants
Health care services, rehabilitation or exercise therapy programs, and drug and alcohol support group meetings
Social services provided to people in need
Events like:
Worship services
Indoor youth recreational sport for people 21 years old or younger
Before and after school programs for K to 12 students
Student events and activities in K to 12 public and independent schools
Indoor organized events with less than 50 people, except adult sports

The Mask Mandates are regularly changing and newest ones came into August 25, 2021 and as of October 13, 2021 they continue to be in effect. These mandates are for “people 12 and older… regardless of vaccination status” according to the Government of BC website. Also from the government’s website as of 10/13/2021: “People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others are exempt. A person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or due to a physical, cognitive or mental impairment.”

And, “Masks may be removed temporarily in indoor public places to identify the individual wearing the mask, to consume food or beverage at a location designated for this purpose, while participating in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.”

The mask mandates are largely for public spaces, not private spaces like offices, or for public areas within businesses. You can read the whole MASK MANDATE here:

The below is excerpts from the Government of BC website as of 10/13/2021. For the complete list of essential service in BC visit:

Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. They are the services British Columbians come to rely on in their daily lives. Developed by Emergency Management BC in consultation with other government ministries and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), this definition is intended to clarify what qualifies as an essential service in the context of the Province’s response to COVID-19. In consultation with the PHO, these services should and are encouraged to remain open. They must, however, follow the orders and guidance provided by the PHO to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Provincial Health Officer has ordered some types of businesses to close. Any business or service that has not been ordered to close and are also not identified on the essential service list may stay open if they can adapt their services and workplace to the orders of the Provincial Health Officer. Child care providers and schools providing care and/or in-class instruction for children are to prioritize placements for those children whose parents are employed in Health and Health Services, Social Services, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Emergency Response.

Health and Health Services
Direct-to-public Health Services
a) All health care services, b) Other health services and caregivers (e.g., physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, mid-
level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel,
pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, mental health
and substance use workers including peer support workers, speech pathologists, diagnostic and
therapeutic technicians and technologists, counselors, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists,
crisis centres, outreach workers, overdose and harm reduction services, meal programs); c) Health first responders (paramedics); (list continues)

Law enforcement, public safety, first responders, emergency response personnel:

a) First responders, including police, fire, and those services providing for public safety including
commercial vehicle safety enforcement (CVSE), corrections and detainment facilities, park
rangers, security and protective services, court services, bylaw enforcement, as well as
communications/dispatching support (etc...)

Vulnerable Population Service Providers
a) Businesses and non-profits that provide food, shelter, social, and support services, and other
necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals, such as
foodbanks, community kitchens, and voluntary and community service providers, and
residential health facilities, mental health, substance use and addictions services; transitional,
social and supportive housing; and SROs; b) Community services and outreach for immigrant, refugees, vulnerable populations and non-
market housing, c) Care for seniors, adults, children, or individuals with disabilities; d) Childcare services for those persons providing essential services; e) Caregivers for children in care and out of care; f) Elder and disability care, including disabled service support – for physical and cognitive disabled
persons; g) Residential care for individuals with mental health and substance use challenges; h) Government and non-profit service delivery staff who provide access to income supports for people in need of food and shelter; i) Residential and care facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, children, and people with
disabilities; j) Overdose prevention sites; k) Businesses that support the health sector, including mental health and addictions/counselling supports; (etc....)

Critical Infrastructure Service Providers

Food and Agriculture Service Providers
a) Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, aquaculture and fishing, and businesses that
support the food supply chain, as well as community gardens and subsistence agriculture; b) Food processing, manufacturing, storage and distribution of foods, feed products and
beverages; c) Workers essential to maintain or repair equipment in food processing and distribution centres; d) Workers to support agricultural operations; e) Retail: Grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets and other establishments engaged in the retail sale or provision of food, pet or livestock supply, liquor, cannabis (including producers), and any other household consumer products; f) Farming supply, including seed, fertilizer, pesticides, farm machinery sales and maintenance; g) Inspection services required for slaughter of animals, dairy production, and food safety;h) Businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals,

Transportation / Infrastructure / Manufacturing
Long list including supply chain services, workers that support directly or indirectly these businesses, and more....

Hotels and places of accommodation
Long list including these places themselves, storage, and businesses that support these places, etc....

Includes a) a) Cleaning services necessary to provide and maintain disinfection;
b) Manufacturing of sanitary products, household paper products, chemicals,
microelectronics/semi-conductor, including companies that are able to retrofit their production
facilities to produce goods/services that can be used to address critical shortages of sanitary and protective goods; through... d) Waste (garbage and organics) and recycling collection, processing, and disposal;

Communications / Information sharing / IT

a) Workers maintaining IT and communications infrastructure for medical facilities, governments
facilities, emergency response and command agencies, energy and utilities, and banks and
financial institutions, employees working from home, and other critical infrastructure categories
and personnel, including managing information and cyber-security incidents;
b) Newspapers, television, radio, online news outlets, and other media services;
c) Information technology, radio, cable providers, and telecommunications services, including
phone, internet, wireless communications, and data centres; satellite operations, undersea
cable landing stations, Internet Exchange Points, and manufacturers and distributors of
communications equipment.

Non-Health Essential Service Providers
a) Feed, water, bedding, veterinary care, veterinary supply, transport and processing services for
livestock, animal shelters and pets; b) Coroners and workers performing mortuary services
c) Banks, and their branches, credit unions, and related financial institutions, d) Capital markets, e) Services related to bankruptcy/credit restructuring and non-bank sources of capital; cheque-cashing outlets; money sending and money remittance services; currency exchange services; pawn brokers; f) Accounting, payroll, translation services, legal services and insurance providers; insurance assessment and adjudication providers; g) Plumbers, electricians, elevator maintenance providers, exterminators, property management services, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians, engineers, mechanics, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and daily essential operation of residences and commercial buildings; h) Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, and public post secondary institutions—for purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential functions, including services that are needed to ensure the safety, security, welfare, integrity and health of the community, property and research and certain operational and contractual activities, if operating under rules for physical distancing or other recommendations from the PHO; ... i) Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers; j) Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, if operating under rules for social and physical distancing or other recommendations from the PHO; k) Towing services and other vehicle repair/maintenance operations; l) Schools and other entities that provide free food services to students or members of the public, if operating under rules for physical distancing or other recommendations from the PHO; m) Construction work, in accordance with PHO direction; construction firms, skilled trades, and professionals, and; construction and light industrial machinery and equipment rental; n) Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of primary and value-added forestry/silviculture products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.) including soft-pulp products such as protective masks, gowns, drapes, screens and other hospital supplies as well as
household paper products; o) Postal services including both public and private mailing, shipping, logistics, courier, delivery services, and post office boxes; p) Research services supporting essential sectors; q) All government (local, regional, provincial) functions or services. r) Businesses and non-profits that provide support services to citizens and businesses on behalf of government. These include but are not limited to: income assistance and disability assistance; pensions; residential tenancy; BC Services Card; drivers’ licensing; affordable Child Care Benefit; Medical Services Plan (MSP); Forest-Worker Support Programs; Notary, Commissioner, Affidavits; Pesticide Exams; and Invigilation for Essential Trades; 1-888-COVID19; Verify by Video; and Helpdesk for BCeID; s) Weather forecasters; t) Businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of mining materials and products (e.g. metals such as copper, nickel and gold) and that support supply chains including:
u) Workers at operations centres necessary to maintain other essential functions; v) Professional services including lawyers and para-legals, engineers, accountants, translators; w) Land registration services, and real estate agent services; x) Building Code enforcement, inspection of buildings, building sites, and building systems by building officials, and Registered Professionals (Architects and Engineers); y) Public washrooms and hygiene facilities (toilets, handwash, showers) for unsheltered persons; z) Parks and greenspace for public health and sheltering (homeless).

Here are some handy links from this article:
Essential Services as defined by the BC Government:

Current Mask Mandate:

Who is being asked to institute the Vaxx Pass?: