BC Games Vaccination Policy

October 21, 2021

Today the BC Winter Games has come out with their policy on vaccinations for BC Winter Games, please read more here.

FAQ Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games Vaccination Policy

What is the COVID-19 vaccination policy for the Greater Vernon 2022 Winter Games?

Proof of full vaccination will be required for all groups taking part in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games. The Board of the BC Games Society (on October 21, 2021) has determined that all athletes, coaches, and officials must be fully vaccinated in order to participate in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games.

Earlier, the local host society announced proof of full vaccination is required for all directors, liaisons, chairs, staff, and general volunteers. As many as 2,000 volunteers will be needed for the Games.

Who is required to be vaccinated to participate in the Greater Vernon 2022 Winter Games?

From athletes to volunteers to media to spectators to coaches and officials, the 2022 BC Winter Games vaccination policy applies to all accredited Games participants. The BC Games Society and the host society will work in partnership with Games venue owners to align vaccination policies for contractors working within the venues.

Why has this vaccination policy been implemented?

To maximize the safety of all Games participants, proof of full vaccination will be required for all groups taking part in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games. A multi-sport games environment attracts people from all over the province, so it’s important to maximize health and safety precautions to minimize any chances of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Games. It’s important to remember that this is the first BC Games since the pandemic began, so we need to make sure we implement and follow robust protocols to help reduce the chance of an outbreak.

Are you discouraging youth sport participation with this vaccine requirement?

We recognize these are new requirements for all participants of the BC Games, but as the pandemic continues, we need to adjust our policies to keep the Games environment safe for everyone. Anyone who wants to participate in the Games – from athletes to volunteers and spectators, must be fully vaccinated.

Why does this differ from the Youth Sport exemption in the PHO order?

The BC Winter Games is a multi-sport event and is much more than what happens on the field of play; therefore, it is necessary to have all layers of defense in place to ensure safety for all.

Will a negative COVID-19 test be a substitute for full vaccination?

No. COVID-19 testing could be used as part of the safety plan at the Games, but it is not a substitute for proof of full vaccination for participants.

Will competitors under the age of 12 require vaccination?

COVID-19 vaccines are not currently available for those under the age of 12 but are expected to become available once Health Canada approves a COVID-19 vaccine for those between the ages of 5 and 11. If that vaccine does not become available before the Games, competitors under the age of 12 will not be able to participate.

The BC Games Society is optimistic that the vaccine for youth under the age of 12 will receive Health Canada approval in the near future, which will allow athletes in this age category to be fully vaccinated and eligible to participate in the Games.

What is accepted proof of vaccination?

The BC Vaccine Card will be in effect for the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games. By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses. As of October 24, 2021, you must be fully vaccinated to access indoor ticketed sporting events.

The requirement to provide proof of full vaccination extends to everyone working or volunteering at the Games, this includes, volunteers, athletes, coaches, officials, spectators, and guests.

The current BC Vaccine Card requirement is in place until January 31, 2022, but we are announcing that the BC Winter Games in February 2022 will also require proof of vaccination for everyone participating.

What is full vaccination? Do I need a third dose?

In BC, by October 24, 2021, you must be fully vaccinated to access some events, services, and businesses. You’re fully vaccinated with 2 doses. While third-dose booster shots will be rolled out in B.C. in the coming months, at the time of this announcement (October 21, 2021) full vaccination against COVID-19 means two doses.

What if I have one dose of a vaccine, can I participate in the Games?

No, partially vaccinated individuals will not be able to participate in the Games.

Will my proof of vaccination be collected and stored?

In B.C., the QR code on the BC Vaccine Card is a personal document. The BC Vaccine Card Verifier app does not store any data. The QR code contains the minimum information required to verify a vaccination record. The vaccine card system is not connected to any other health records. For Games accredited personnel (athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and guests), vaccination status information will be collected for verification purposes. It will not be stored. Games organizers are only viewing the vaccine record to confirm vaccination.

What is the masking policy for the Games?

The Games will follow provincial heath orders in terms of all safety policies related to COVID-19. Masks are one of many layers of protection we use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will adjust our requirements based on current Public Health Orders.

Are there any exemptions to the proof of vaccination requirement due to medical reasons? What proof is required?

In order to participate in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games all participants must complete a two-dose series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine. Exemptions must come directly from the Public Health Officer.

What happens if I ignore this vaccine requirement, or provide false or fraudulent documentation?

In order to participate in the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games all participants must complete a two-dose series of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine. It is expected that everyone participating in the Games will be honest about their vaccination status. Individuals providing false or fraudulent documentation will be restricted from participation in or attendance at the Games and will be sent home from the Games.

What about the 2022 BC Summer Games in Prince George? Will there be a vaccine requirement?

As the pandemic continues we will continue to monitor Public Health Orders in the coming months in order to make a decision regarding vaccination policies for the Prince George 2022 BC Summer Games.