As of September 1, only fully vaccinated people aged 13 and over will be allowed to dine in Quebec and access other non-essential services. See below for a breakdown of some questions – and answers – about the system going into effect.
When will vaccine passports become compulsory for eating and drinking outside?
How will it work?
To enter a non-essential service such as a restaurant or bar, Quebecers 13 years of age and over will need to present a QR code containing their proof of vaccination, as well as government-issued photo identification. The QR code can be presented via the VaxiCode mobile app, as a PDF file on a mobile device, or simply printed on paper. Once scanned, the merchant app will display the customer’s name and indicate whether they are properly vaccinated or not. (Homeless people do not need to present a vaccination passport to access a restaurant.)
When can I download the app?
Right now for Apple and Android users. The minimum compatibility requirements for the app are an iPod Touch, iPhone 6, or iPad with iOS 11 for Apple users, and a device running Android 8.1 for Google users. Once the app is downloaded, you need to import your QR code, which can be downloaded from the government self-service portal.
Will businesses use the same app?
No. Businesses will need to download a separate app, called VaxiCode Verif, to scan customers’ QR codes. Here is a video explaining how it works.
What if I don’t have a smartphone?
Its good. You can view the QR code directly from a PDF on a mobile device or download your QR code and print it. Anyone without access to a printer can call the COVID-19 hotline (1-877-644-4545) to receive a hard copy in the mail. Please note: the paper delivered to the vaccination centers is not a valid substitute for the QR code.
What if I don’t have photo ID?
For anyone aged 75 and over, one piece of non-photo identification is acceptable.
How will it work for adults with children 12 and under?
Children must provide an identity document proving their age.
People can still dine and drink on the terraces without proof of vaccination, right?
Wrong. Even those who hope to dine outdoors will have to hand in their vaccination passports.
Okay, but what if I need to go get some take out?
Passports for vaccines are not required at take-out or drive-through counters.
What about people who are not vaccinated for medical reasons? Can they still go out to eat?
Health officials say the number of people who are medically unable to get vaccinated is extremely low, especially given the different vaccines available. But in these rare cases, a doctor can provide the relevant documentation, and the person will receive a QR code allowing them to access restaurants, bars and other non-essential services.
What if I show up with a group of friends and one of us doesn’t have the required QR code?
Restaurants and bars following the protocol will have to refuse this person. (Note: The passport does not become valid until 7 days have passed since obtaining the second dose of the vaccine.)
What will happen to people caught trying to enter a restaurant with someone else’s QR code or a fabricated code?
Forging documents is a criminal offense. Anyone who does not follow protocol can face fines of $ 1,000 to $ 6,000.
I am not from Quebec. Can I go to a restaurant without their vaccination passport?
Yes, you will need to show official proof of vaccination from your home province or country, as well as photo ID containing proof of residence. The documentation must show that you have received two doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
So restaurant workers will check vaccine passports and ID cards at the door, much like a bouncer in a club?
Yes, it sounds a bit like that. Although according to the Quebec restaurant lobby ARQ, restaurants will also be allowed to scan codes at the table, once customers are already seated (and potentially already unmasked), which seems to defeat the goal.
Does this mean that sanitary measures will be relaxed in restaurants?
No. Even though all customers sitting in restaurants and bars should be doubly vaccinated starting September 1, that doesn’t mean that “the environment is suddenly negative for COVID,” Dubé says. Transmission is still possible among vaccinated individuals, particularly with the delta variant involved, and some workers may not be vaccinated. Therefore, all the rules in force – wearing a mask while standing, spacing between tables, etc. – will continue to be applied.
Do catering workers also need to be fully vaccinated?
With 79 percent of the eligible population in Quebec (12 years and over) fully vaccinated, there is a good chance that many are already. However, for the moment, the government does not require the vaccination of hotel workers, saying it would be a violation of the labor code and “their right to work”.
Are there any privacy issues related to using the app?
Officials point out that location data is not accessible through the QR code, that VaxiCode apps work offline, and scanned information is not kept in the VaxiCode Verif app. In any case, the information contained in the QR code is quite limited: name, date of birth, and information concerning the vaccines received. According to some cybersecurity experts, the risks are low, but someone using another third-party QR scanning app could potentially log this information. Meanwhile, last week, reports circulated that information about the vaccination of some Quebec politicians had been hacked.
What if a restaurant decides to flout these rules?
The government is giving businesses a two-week grace period to adjust before imposing fines for non-compliance. Any establishment that does not respect the mandate risks being closed.
This message will be updated as soon as additional information on the vaccination passport becomes available.