COVID-19 Policy for Events & Meetings
Last updated on: November 2021
As the province of British Columbia moved towards Step 3 of its Restart Plan, many members of the HAVAN community have expressed interest in safely resuming in-person events and meetings, while expressing concerns that additional public health measures should be introduced to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. HAVAN takes these concerns very seriously, as the health, safety, and wellbeing of our staff and members remain our top priority.
In consultation with Public Health and in keeping with provincial guidelines, HAVAN has elected to implement the following COVID-19 Policy for Events & Meetings.
For the purposes of this document, an “event” is defined as an indoor gathering of 50 or more participants.
Note: There are currently no provincial capacity restrictions for indoor events & gatherings.
By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of full vaccination is required for all participants over the age of 12 to attend indoor events with more than 50 people. To verify vaccination status, participants will be asked to show their BC Vaccine Card and one piece of government-issued photo ID. Youth aged 12 to 18 will not be asked to show photo ID.
Face coverings (masks) are required in all indoor common spaces when not eating or drinking.
Both requirements will be in place until at least January 31, 2022 and is subject to extension.
A “meeting” refers to HAVAN’s committee, council, board, and staff meetings, where the general attendance is usually 50 people or less.
HAVAN is aware of equity, privacy, human rights, employment law, and operational practicality considerations that inform a workplace’s decisions regarding vaccination status policies that extend beyond the recommendations of the PHO.
In reviewing BC’s Human Rights Commissioner’s guidance on the subject matter:
Ultimately, it is the position of B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, that duty bearers  can in some circumstances implement a vaccination status policy such as a proof-of-vaccination requirement—but only if other less intrusive means of preventing COVID-19 transmission are inadequate for the setting and if due consideration is given to the human rights of everyone involved.
Until further notice, HAVAN has made the decision to act out of an abundance of caution and extend proof of vaccination requirements for all in-person meetings, regardless of the number of participants and at the discretion of the meeting planner, for the following three reasons:
- Many of HAVAN’s in-person meetings take place at external venues, where the ability to sit apart at the recommended 6-feet physical distance is difficult to achieve.
- Food & beverages are served at the majority of HAVAN’s in-person meetings. This creates an environment where participants cannot wear face coverings/masks for an extended period.
- The rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19 has been “exacerbated by the highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV2, which is now the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in British Columbia, causing significantly more rapid transmission and increased severity of illness.”
Where applicable, HAVAN will provide a video or hybrid option to attend a meeting, as to accommodate those who may be immunocompromised, those with varying situations and comfort levels, and those unable to get vaccinated because of systemic or access issues, as well as to encourage those who are experiencing symptoms to stay home.
Face coverings are required in all indoor common spaces when not eating or drinking.
HAVAN’s COVID-19 Policy for Events & Meetings takes into consideration current Public Health recommendations, as well as evidence-based, time-limited, and necessary principles as outlined by the BC Human Rights Code. Evidence shows that vaccination is the best public health measure available to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, the vaccines offered in BC are expected to protect people against the different COVID-19 variants. Getting vaccinated also decreases the risk of having severe COVID-19 disease or dying from it and prevents new variants from arising.
As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HAVAN will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of the PHO and review this policy as needed.
Additional Safety Measures
While vaccines have been identified as the primary measure to prevent transmission of COVID-19, HAVAN continues to take additional measures at all our events, which includes:
- Enforcing requirements for face coverings
- Physical distancing
- Providing access to handwashing stations, or hand sanitation supplies
- Controlling access to events (no drop-ins)
- Posting of relevant signage, including signs reminding participants to wash or sanitize their hands before touching self-serve food, drink, or other items
- Daily Health Self-Assessment for HAVAN staff members
HAVAN will only scan your QR Code using the BC Vaccine Card Verifier app, and will not retain proof of vaccination or identification provided by a participant. With your consent, HAVAN may keep a record of the fact that the participant has provided proof of being vaccinated and the organizer may rely upon this record to satisfy proof of vaccination requirements with respect to future participation by the participant in an event at the same place.
HAVAN will never ask for a copy or screenshot of your Vaccine Card.
 Duty bearers are those who have a legal obligation or responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. This includes governments, employers, housing providers and other service providers.
Download this policy as a PDF here.