Starting Sept. 1, people aged 13 and over in Quebec will be required to show proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars and gyms or face fines from $1,000 to $6,000 for non-compliance. If businesses choose not to check for vaccine passports, they can be closed by public health authorities but the province will not impose any penalties until Sept. 15.
Residents can prove their status by showing their paper proof or digitally by downloading their electronic proof of vaccination containing a QR code that stores their vaccination status, name and date of birth. A downloadable app, called VaxiCode, will then allow them to add their scannable QR code to it.
Another app, called VaxiCode Verif, is available for businesses to scan their customers’ QR codes and then display the status either “Adequately Protected” in green or “Not Adequately Protected” in red.
Both apps are available for download via Apple’s App Store as of Aug. 25 while the Android version is expected to be available later in the week.
A vaccine passport will be required if a person wishes to attend festivals or outdoor gatherings involving more than 50 people, go to cinemas, visit amusement parks or have a game at bowling alleys. Bars and restaurants, including sitting on terraces except for takeout, will also require the passport.
Team sports or physical activities that involve frequent or prolonged contact such as baseball and hockey are also included in the list except in a professional or school setting.
The vaccine passport will not apply to essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies. It’s also not required in private gatherings, places of worship, weddings or funerals.
Primary, secondary and post-secondary schools are also exempted with teachers, pupils and chaperones not required to show proof of vaccination during school trips.
The province’s vaccine passport has met with opposition from those concerned about the risks to civil liberties, including thousands of protesters who marched against the move in Montreal on Aug. 14.
With files from The Canadian Press