VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Tickets are being sold and big-name acts rescheduled for the fall and winter in anticipation of B.C. once again allowing large concerts, but Dr. Bonnie Henry says none of the shows have been given the go-ahead to proceed.
Phase 4 of the province’s restart plan could start as early as Sept. 7. That phase will allow for “increased capacity on large organized gatherings,” including concerts.
On Thursday, Henry said no safety plans for these events have been submitted or approved yet, and it’s too soon to say whether or not stadiums and arenas will be at full capacity.
“I know that many have planned these with the expectation that certain things may be in place, and I know that’s something that we’ve been working with industry on. But none of them have been approved,” she said.
“We have not yet determined capacity limits as we’re going into the summer or into the fall, but we have signaled that they will, of course, be higher than they are now. Depending on how things go, we hope to get back to a sense of normalcy into the fall.”
But like every other phase of the reopening plan, what happens will depend on COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations.
“The caveat of course being that we don’t yet know what’s going to happen in the next respiratory season and we may need to pull back some of the measures –at least on a local level to try to prevent transmission. So, there’s big unknowns still,” Henry said.
"The caveat of course being we don't yet know what's going to happen in the next respiratory season and we may need to pull back some of the measures… to prevent transmission." –Dr. Bonnie Henry re: no safety plans approved for big-name #Vancouver concerts this fall. #bcpoli
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) June 18, 2021
When asked about the prospect of so called “vaccine passports” for large events, henry said she is not in favour of the idea.
“That’s not something that I support from a public perspective. I know individual businesses and organizations are looking at that, but there are legal and other ramifications to that, as well,” she noted.
Last month, federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners issued a statement saying vaccine passports must comply with applicable privacy laws and incorporate best practices. The commissioners said while these passports might offer substantial public benefit, they would constitute an encroachment on civil liberties that should be taken only after careful consideration. They recommended conditions including clear legal authority for introducing use of vaccine passports for each intended purpose.
Still, proof of vaccine is something that is being required of concert-goers for at least one show in New York. Bruce Springsteen is set to return to Broadway this summer, and anyone who can’t provide proof of vaccine won’t be allowed in the theatre.
In March, one poll found that 62 per cent of people surveyed in B.C. were in favour of a vaccine passport for live sporting events, and large concerts.
With files from The Canadian Press