As of today, 77% of Quebec’s population has received a double vaccine.
Quebec’s Health Minister, Christian Dubé, stated that although there is a high vaccination rate in the province, the government wants to avoid another lockdown in 4th wave. Cases are steadily increasing among the non vaccinated, just prior to the re-opening of schools and universities, and it is a worrying situation.
Quebec’s vaccine passport system (app) will be ready to be rolled out on September 1. As of next week, those wanting access to non-essential services will have to show proof of a double vaccine.
The passport will have to be shown by those wanting access to restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms, museums, outdoor festivals, and some school activities.
For some time Quebecers who received the double vaccine could download the QR code (Quick Response code) provided by the government. For those who did not have a smartphone, the paper version was accepted. To access non-essential services with the paper version you also had to have a form of government-issued photo ID (Driver’s Licence, RAMQ card) to go with your paper.
The new vaccine passport, available for download September 1, 2021, for Android and iPhone users, is designed to prevent fraud. You upload your QR code to an application called VaxiCode. The app will register three pieces of personal information already contained in the QR code: name, date of birth and vaccination status.
Businesses will have to download an app called VaxiCode Vérif. This will scan the QR code and verify within seconds if the person has been completely vaccinated. Only the person’s name and vaccination status will appear for the businesses. The information will not be stored or sent to a server.
Out-of-province and international visitors will be able to show proof of vaccine from their jurisdiction.
The Minister of Health said that the vaccine passport app meets international standards and is comparable to those used in some European countries. The Quebec Ministry of Health is working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to help it develop a similar app.
Notwithstanding the development of the vaccine passport app, we are not out of the woods yet as far as Covid is concerned. It is very important, therefore, to be vigilant. Always follow the public health guidelines of keeping a safe distance, wearing a mask in public spaces, and washing your hands frequently.
Photo credit: Olivia LaPierre-Roy, Radio Canada