Quebec intends to introduce a vaccine passport on September 1, revealed its health minister on Tuesday. Christian Dube said he wants to avoid another lockdown and believes a vaccine passport is the better alternative.
Dube said the vaccine passports enable vaccinated people to access public events, training facilities, bars and restaurants. "Our objective is that the vaccination passport will allow those people who are adequately vaccinated to have access," he said, "and I want you... to have access to public events."
He said the passport is crucial for areas and activities with high contact and socialization rates.
The passport will be installed on an app that is currently in the testing phase. Dube said a paper version would also be available for those without a smartphone
The Quebec government expected a pilot project this week at La Cage Brasserie sportive in Quebec City and the Econofitness in Laval. Further details will be announced the week of August 23.
Dube promised the app would not gather data. About 4.7 million residents already received their QR codes.
He reiterates: "Our objective with the vaccination passport is to not go back to a generalized lockdown, and at the same time, we wish to avoid overcrowding our hospitals." Dube also said weekly updates on the province's epidemiological situation would resume.
Quebec reported seven new hospitalizations by COVID-19 on Tuesday, which marks the highest single-day rise since mid-May. Health officials said 62 people are in hospital with the disease, and 18 are in intensive care. They also reported 234 new COVID infections but no more deaths.
To date, 84.8 percent of eligible residents 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 72.2 percent are fully vaccinated.