COVID-19 travel rules: Vaccine passport could be required to go to restaurants, events in Quebec this fall

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As COVID-19 restrictions across Canada are starting to loosen, the Quebec government has indicated that if cases start to rise again in the fall, the province will implement a digital vaccine passport requirement for people to access a number of non-essential services.

"If and only if the situation deteriorates, rather than closing sectors of activity, it would be necessary to be doubly vaccinated to access certain activities," Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, said at a press conference last week.

These non-essential activities include gyms, team sports, bars, restaurants, arts and entertainment, festivals, and stadium events. The provincial government has also indicated that employers will not be able to require a vaccine passport as part of hiring criteria.

"How it will be used will depend on changes in the epidemiological situation and on vaccine coverage in Québec," the information from the province reads.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the federal government plans to introduce a vaccine passport on a national level for international travel purposes. Currently, Canadians can upload a picture of their proof of vaccination through the ArriveCAN app to be exempt from 14-day quarantine rule for travellers.

The prime minister indicated in June that the federal government is working with provinces on a national, digital certification of vaccine status that will be "easily accepted around the world" this fall.

"The provinces, of course, have your health data and your vaccination status, and we want to make sure we’re both protecting privacy and protecting jurisdictions," Trudeau said.

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