Alberta has introduced a new app featuring personalized QR codes, which will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entering certain businesses.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the app on Oct.12, while indicating the province’s COVID-19 vaccine passport program will likely be in place until at least early 2022.
“We are headed into an uncertain period, even if we continue to see downward momentum in the case numbers and hospitalization numbers,” Kenney said at a press conference on Oct. 12.
“Even if we exit this fourth wave through the month of October, we will have to be on our guard as we go into colder weather when people spend more time indoors,” he added.
The AB COVID Records Verifier app is a new addition to the vaccine passport mandate, referred to as the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) in Alberta. Businesses participating in the program will require two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine from customers as of Oct. 25 in order to enter the facility.
Kenney said the government has not defined “a particular criteria to end the program” and that he expects that the proof-of-vaccination program will be “in place through at least the first quarter of next year, 2022.”
The app scans a person’s QR code and verifies the authenticity of enhanced COVID-19 vaccine records. The app is available for download onto both Apple and Android devices, Kenney said.
He added that the app does not store any personal information, and users do not need to create an account but can access the app by entering their Alberta health card number.
“When a valid QR code is scanned, a green checkmark will verify the proof of vaccination. It’s that easy for businesses and Albertans participating in the REP,” Kenney said.
Starting Nov. 15, this verifiable QR code will be the only acceptable COVID-19 vaccination record in Alberta, Health Minister Jason Copping said at the press conference.
Copping noted that over 800,000 Albertans have already accessed their enhanced vaccine records.
As of Oct. 11, about 85 percent of eligible Albertans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 76 percent are fully vaccinated.
The Alberta government announced in September a $100 debit card reward as an incentive for more people to get vaccinated. The government said roughly 152,000 Albertans have registered for the program, which ends on Oct. 14.