How a Delayed Phase 4 May Impact Sporting Events, Concerts, and other Public Events

As of this week, proof of vaccination is officially required for entrance into large events in BC. Across the province, spectators and participants must present vaccine cards at any sporting events for people 22 years or older, as well as at youth sporting events with gatherings of more than fifty people and arts gatherings, such as live theater and concerts.

However, because of COVID-19 case counts rising in the last month especially, the transition to Phase 4 has been pushed back, meaning an uncertain fate for events planned in the optimism that we would already be back to ‘normal’. And with Phase 3 meaning a cap at half-capacity with most large events, it may have repercussions for events planned in the next few months.

For sports gatherings, guidelines are set out by the stadiums and teams hosting, nearly all of which nationally have set out plans as sports seasons begin to resume this year. However, rules are different between provinces. While many have already applied a passport system like BC that they are introducing this month, many others, such as Alberta and New Brunswick have looser guidelines and recommendations.

For concerts however, especially for touring acts from the USA or elsewhere internationally, dates in Canada seem uncertain, especially with acts selling tickets for a higher capacity that they expect venues will be able to accommodate at their scheduled dates. Despite vaccine cards being mandatory now at indoor public gatherings, it’s not certain whether tour date cancellations may be a reality soon if case counts don’t start to fall soon in the province.

Since the beginning of Sept., case counts in BC have begun to hit a plateau, albeit one that hovers around 500 to 800 new cases per day, but the next few weeks will show the effectiveness of vaccine cards and if a return to normal may be before us soon.

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