Vaccine passports less than 2 weeks away for Quebecers

Quebecers will soon be required to show proof of vaccination before sitting down in a restaurant or hitting up the gym.

Vaccination passports will come into effect Sept. 1, with Quebec being the first province to instill this rule on a wide scale.

Taking the form of a QR code accessible through a mobile app, the passports will apply to a number of enclosed public spaces, such as restaurants, theatres, and stores.

And some businesses, like Taverne Midway, are testing things out ahead of time.

The bar, located on St. Laurent Blvd. in Montreal, participated in a trial run of the passport Friday night, hoping to work out any bugs ahead of the rollout.

“[Customers] fill [out] a couple questions on how they feel about the experience, what can be improved — and it will be the same on our part,” said Taverne Midway owner Charles Landry.

He hopes that having exclusively vaccinated customers will permit the loosening of other COVID protocols, such as social distancing.

Although Landry looks forward to the change, the concept of vaccine passports has not been embraced by everyone.

Hundreds of Montrealers gathered in the Old Port on Aug. 21 to protest the passports, calling them violation of privacy. 

Despite this event, most Canadians appear to be in support of vaccine passports, according to a new survey from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies. The survey states that 81 per cent of Quebecers are in favour, with 76 per cent of Canadians being in favour overall. 

“I think it’s an amazing idea considering the safety of everyone around,” said one citizen in a CTV report. “If you aren’t vaccinated you should probably rethink your decision.”

As far as privacy concerns go, Alexander Dahl, CEO of the tech company Akinox — which worked with Quebec in creating the app — says a number of safeguards are in place to protect the information of users.

“No data is kept on the device, no data is sent to the internet, no tracking, no GPS, none of that.”

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