CTVNewsMontreal.ca Digital Reporter
Some Quebecers can download a new vaccination record mobile app Wednesday morning as the province is willing to limit some non-essential services to vaccinated individuals only.
The VaxiCode app will be available for download from more than five million Quebecers in the Apple App Store at 8 a.m. The app will be made available to Android users in the Google Play Store later this week.
The app is still being tested in local companies across Quebec, but Health Minister Christian Dubé made it clear: “We are now ready to start September 1st.”
The Quebec health minister said the vaccines are a “passport to freedom” and a tool to prevent businesses from closing when cases and hospital stays increase in the middle of the fourth wave of the pandemic.
“We can no longer have our hospitals filled with unvaccinated people, so we have to protect the health of the population,” said Dubé at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Quebec was the first province to announce the vaccine passport, which is used to access non-essential services, including indoor dining in restaurants, gyms, live events, theaters, and some stores. Dubé also said it will apply to “physical activities that involve frequent or prolonged contact,” such as team sports.
Other provinces such as British Columbia have also announced plans for a vaccination certificate in the past few weeks.
From September 1st, residents will have to present their QR code in the new VaxiCode app to access non-essential services. The app includes a QR code that stores the user’s vaccine information and displays a green or red passport depending on the person’s vaccination status.
In addition to the vaccination certificate, residents must also present photo identification so that the person who scans the app can prove their identity as shown on the QR code. The person’s name is displayed in the app.
Residents who do not want to use the smartphone app can have their vaccination card sent to them or print it out themselves.
A second app is also made available as part of the vaccination record system – VaxiCode Verif – to be used by companies to scan and read a consumer’s digital or paper-based vaccination certificate.
The province said it will put a grace period before fines are imposed on restaurants and other businesses that fail to enforce vaccine passport requirements. As of September 15, companies that fail to verify people’s vaccination status can face fines of up to $ 6,000.
The health minister said the rules would be enforced in the same way that the masking policy was enforced earlier in the pandemic. For example, in serious cases, restaurants could face closure if they fail to enforce the new policy.
“Someone who goes to a restaurant and doesn’t want to wear a mask, well, it’s a shame, but the business will have to say, ‘Well, listen up, I’m sorry sir or madam, you have to go and if you do don’t go well, they call, they call security. “
The Minister of Health told reporters Tuesday during the briefing that the vaccination record system can also accommodate people who live outside of Quebec. For example, people coming from Ontario or international travelers must present their official vaccination certificate issued by their own jurisdiction in addition to their photo ID.
The Minister of Health said there are no other additional requirements for Quebec visitors who want to access places such as restaurants and live events.
How vaccination records work in Quebec, some highlights:
-Two different apps: VaxiCode for customers, VaxiCode Verif for companies
-Health Canada works with provinces to coordinate different apps / frameworks so that they can be standardized @CTVMontreal @CTVNews (1 / x)
There will be some measures in place for people who cannot get their vaccine doses for medical reasons, Dubé said.
For the “very rare” cases where people are exempt from vaccination, Dubé said, “an order is sent to the doctors and they can fill out a form and then we will put it in the vaccination registry so that people can too Vaccination get the green light for your application. “
Cases have already been reported of people attempting to forge their vaccination records, which is being monitored by federal officials as more provinces announce plans to follow Quebec’s lead and introduce their own version of the vaccination record.
In Montreal, health care workers are said to have been bribed to obtain a fake vaccination certificate. Police are investigating after reports that a person offered a nurse at a vaccination clinic a bag containing several hundred dollars in cash on condition that she toss the vaccine in the trash and hand him a fake vaccination certificate.
On Tuesday, Dubé said people could be charged under the Criminal Code for forging an official document and face a fine of between $ 1,000 and $ 6,000.
“Once you have something criminal in your case, you cannot travel. I think the cost of this in terms of quality of life is so huge, ”he said.
“I don’t know why anyone would take this risk for something they can get – a vaccine – for free.”
Canadians wishing to report COVID-19-related fraud, including falsified test results and records, should contact their local police force and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or online antifraudcentre-centerantifraude.de.
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