Vaccine passports arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador will follow Quebec’s lead over the coming weeks and implement a vaccine passport system that allows non-essential businesses in the province to admit or deny entry based on vaccine status. of somebody.
Premier Andrew Furey made the announcement Tuesday during a scheduled update on COVID-19 in St. John’s.
The province has been slow to embrace the idea, largely based on the relatively high local vaccination rate and low number of COVID-19 cases.
“After doing a jurisdictional analysis, we came back with a reasonable alternative for our province, and it’s adapting something similar to what’s happening in Quebec,” Furey said. “The Quebec model will be presented here over the next few weeks to one month. “
Unlike Quebec, which continues to count hundreds of new cases daily, Furey said the system in that province will only be a “tool in a toolbox” of measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.
The Quebec system, which came into effect on September 1, uses a QR code that can be displayed on a smart device or displayed in printed form.
Businesses and other locations scan the code and the customer’s name appears on the scanning device, along with their vaccination status indicated by the color green for properly protected and red for unprotected.
Internet connection is not required.
Health Minister Dr John Haggie said medical exemptions will not be disclosed and will be treated as vaccinated.
He said the College of Physicians and Surgeons is developing guidelines that will define what constitutes a medical exemption.
A portal will be available online on Friday, September 9 for those who have been vaccinated outside the province to obtain a provincial record.
Applicants will need a valid MCP card and the record of the other supplier. The file will take approximately two weeks to process.
I had to show proof of vaccination in Quebec to go to restaurants or concerts last week. The whole process goes smoothly and hassle-free. Very efficient and minimal burden for business.
– Lyle Skinner (@SkinnerLyle) September 7, 2021
Protect the economy
Furey said the system is necessary to maintain the economy in any region of the province in the event of a significant coronavirus resurgence.
“This is an important step in ensuring that people who have the vaccine and who have done their part will not be penalized if certain epidemics occur in our province,” he said.
Furey said he hopes this will push those who haven’t to get vaccinated.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, and it is certainly something that in the balance of freedoms, we would certainly impose time restrictions. But it will – if another wave occurs in parts of the province that may have lower vaccination rates – the economy, businesses to stay open and, frankly, not penalize those who made the right choice. , the informed choice, to get a vaccine. “
Furey implored those who didn’t to get the shot.
“I know there are people who are still skeptical about the vaccine. They think there may be problems, or maybe fake news, ”he said. “Well, let me ask you a simple question: How many people do you know with smallpox? I can tell you right away, the answer is – not just for you but for every person in the world – no one. Because vaccines work.
Peter Jackson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering health for The Telegram.