MONTREAL — Quebecers are required starting today to show proof of vaccination to access businesses and events the government deems non-essential, such as restaurants, gyms and festivals.
The government has said the passport system is necessary to keep the economy open and limit COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
Millions of people in the province have been issued QR codes by the Health Department containing their vaccination statuses.
They must present the codes along with identification in order to do such things as eat at restaurants or work out at gyms.
The new measure comes as Quebec is reporting 690 new COVID-19 cases today and two more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
Authorities say 138 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, a rise of seven patients, with 40 listed in intensive care, a rise of four.
Health Minister Christian Dubé has said the next two weeks will be a grace period during which penalties for non-compliance won't be enforced.
But starting Sept. 15, people and businesses caught violating the health order can face thousands of dollars in fines.
Health officials say just over 87 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received one dose of vaccine and 80.8 per cent are deemed adequately vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 1, 2021.
The Canadian Press