Quebec province in Canada announced on Thursday, August 5, that it is set to introduce a vaccine passport in an attempt to counter the fourth wave of Covid-19 and the spread of the Delta variant.
“The principle behind the vaccine passport is that people who have made the effort to get their two doses should be able to live a semi-normal life,” provincial prime minister Francois Legault was quoted as telling a press conference.
This will occur only after September 1, which would allow Quebecers to receive two doses of the vaccine. According to reports, if a vaccine passport is used in the province, it would not be used in accessing public or essential services. It would be used to limit access to activities like going to gyms, concerts, bars, team sports, festivals, and other activities that could pose moderate to high risk. Employers cannot make a vaccine passport a requirement to hire employees.
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Eighty-three per cent of people over the age of 12 in the province have received one vaccine shot, while 67 per cent have received both doses.
“We will give certain privileges to those who have agreed to make the effort to get their two shots,” Legault said.
Quebec had recorded 305 new cases in 24 hours as of Wednesday, September 4, up from approximately 100 per day in recent days.
This increase is “still much lower than what we see in the United States, in most of the countries in Europe, but it remains that we can already talk about the beginning of a fourth wave,” Legault said, ruling out the possibility of another lockdown in the province.
Backing the move, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “I fully support the initiative of Mr Legault and the Quebec government.” He added that he was considering making vaccination mandatory for all federal employees.
People eligible for entering Canada can skip quarantine, hotel stopover and the day-8 testing requirement if they are able to show proof of having received two doses of one of the vaccines that Canada approves, with the second dose having been taken at least 14 days before arrival. Further, travellers are required to upload proof of their vaccination to the app ArriveCAN at least 72 hours before they travel. They will also have to present the receipt to Canada border services after they arrive.