Starting September 1st, the Canadian province of Quebec will officially implement the use of vaccine passports to access non-essential services.
In a press conference in Montreal last week, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube revealed some features of the vaccination passport and how it will be used throughout the province.
Among the specifics, Dube stated that the passport will be required for access to non-essential services such as bars, restaurants, gyms, festivals and other places with high capacity and a potentially high rate of contact.
How the vaccine passport will work
At the press conference, Health Minister Dube stated that, “Our goal is for the vaccination passport to allow adequately vaccinated people access to high traffic, public events and high contact rate activities that are places of great socializing for non-essential activities and services.” The rapid spread of the new Delta variant were among the concerns addressed during the conference.
Quebec’s vaccine passport will come in the form of an online application, which will display a user’s Covid-19 vaccine information through a QR code. For people who do not have a smartphone, they can show their paper vaccination certificates from vaccine centers. It will also be possible to print out the QR code or request a paper version of code by mail.
The app will essentially be a reader application, where staff at a restaurant or bar will scan a user’s code before entry. Two pilot projects for the app where the new vaccine passport will be used were tested earlier this week. A third test is scheduled later this month at a junior hockey game.
When asked about the necessity of a vaccine passport in Quebec, officials reiterated that the province wants to avoid any potential lockdown measures, such as the closing of most non-essential services which happened last fall.
Who can use the passport in Quebec
The app for the vaccine passport is set to be available to people in Quebec by the end of this month. It will be available as a free download for all Android and iOS devices. Users can then upload their vaccine information so that it is viewable as a QR code.
When asked whether using the QR code to access services is secure or not, Dube explained that the app won’t take any personal information and “only read the vaccine info.”
Vaccine passport use will apply to people 12 years of age and older, as Covid-19 shots are not yet approved to be administered to persons under the age of 12.
It is still unclear whether the vaccine passport will be required for weddings and large religious gatherings. At this time, there are no plans for Quebec’s vaccine passport to be used in schools or stores.
Domestic and international travel
For international and domestic travel, the Health Minister said that he is discussing with the Canadian government to potentially coordinate Quebec’s vaccine passport with the ArriveCAN app. Travelers already have to upload their essential travel documents to the ArriveCAN application when arriving from an international destination to Canada.
At the time of writing, PEI and Manitoba are the two other Canadian provinces which require proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 to access certain non-essential services.
Demonstrations happened in Montreal this month in protest of the new vaccine passport.
Officials from other provinces, such as Ontario and Alberta, have stated that they will not implement a form of vaccine passport for non-essential services.
Canadian travelers are currently not required to show proof of vaccination for interprovincial, domestic travel. However by later this fall, Canadians will need to show proof of vaccination on all federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com