Top Doctor hints at 'consequences' for those unvaccinated
DAWSON CREEK -- B.C.'s top doctor announced Tuesday there could be negative consequences for people who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19.
Doctor Bonnie Henry is supporting the idea of some businesses refusing service to people who don't have their shots.
"We absolutely can say, to come in here you have to be immunized," Henry said, "and that gives people the level of comfort that they're in a safer environment."
Henry added she supports businesses establishing their own set of rules, if it means helping people feel more comfortable.
However, restaurant owners and managers, like Ginger at Browns Socialhouse, say this will only hurt their businesses.
"It was bad enough to have to start asking people for their name, and their phone number before they could come into the restaurant." Said Ginger, adding that it is a personal choice, and it should not be up to anybody in a restaurant setting, or any setting, to ask if anyone has been vaccinated.
Jeff Guignard, Executive Director with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees, explained if B.C'S privacy commissioner signs off on the proposal, and Dr. Henry implements it, they've "got her back", like they have the entire pandemic.
Guignard said the industry has made changes to make for safer environments, and is discussing checking vaccination status before people are allowed in establishments.
Dr. Henry added healthcare workers could also face consequences if they choose not to be immunized, stressing they will not be able to work in certain settings without taking additional measures.
These measures would require workers to undergo regular testing and wearing masks.
Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead calls this type of measure controversial, adding he is not sure how, and if, restaurant owners are willing to enforce it.
"When you start to try to impose regulatory processes on people, then they feel like you're taking away from their freedoms.", Bumstead told CJDCTV.
Additionally, implementing this rule could be problematic, as current vaccination cards could easily be replicated or tampered with.
"Most of us have seen what those cards look like." Guignard pointed out. "It's just a little paper card with somebody's scribbling on it with pen. and I don't think that we have a whole lot of confidence that that's going to provide additional barrier protection for our patrons."
As of July 27, the number of residents over 12 years old both in the North and South Peace region who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine remains at 53 per cent.
WITH FILES FROM CTV VANCOUVER.