By Gordon Lambie
The Province of Quebec has published its list of what locations and activities will require the new vaccine passport as of Sept. 1, and it is extensive.
Currently available only in French on the Quebec.ca website, the list of nonessential services and activities that will require the document focuses primarily on recreation and entertainment.
When it comes to restaurants and bars, the system applies only when staying on site. Patios, fast food dining rooms, night clubs, microbreweries, distilleries, and food courts will all require the passport, but drive-thru windows or take-out counters will not. The passport will also not apply to the homeless who wish to dine in.
Performance venues, stadiums and arenas, auditoriums, movie theatres, and any other kind of indoor space for the performing arts, sports, or films will all requite the document, as will trampoline centres and indoor wind tunnels, paintball and laser tag, go-karting, amusement park rides, escape rooms, kids’ activity centres, historical recreation or thematic villages, bowling alleys and pool halls, zoos and aquariums, biodomes, planetariums, insectariums, botanical gardens, and special exhibitions. Museums and libraries, however, will not.
Cruises, conferences, Team sports involving frequent or prolonged contact or travel for practices, including between schools, outdoor events and festivals with more than 50 participants, sports games or performances such as music concerts or plays that take place in outdoor stadiums, music or comedy shows that take place outdoors, professional sports competitions, outdoor movie showings, agricultural fairs, artisan shows, organized walks, marathons, or cycling events and golf tournaments are also on the list.
The passport will not be required for private gatherings, marriages or funerals, worship services, spas and saunas, estheticians, massage parlours, dog trainers, driving courses, accommodations, and hunting and fishing activities.
When it comes to sports, anything indoors is on the list automatically, whereas individual outdoor sports seem to be exempted. Some of the distinctions are a bit unclear, however, with organized walks and marathons requiring the passport but not biathlon, triathlon, or cross-country running.
The mobile app that is central to the passport system, VaxiCode, was launched for users of Apple devices on Wednesday and is expected to become available for users of android devices shortly. There has been no further information provided yet as to how the paper version of the passport can be acquired.
The Province of Quebec reported 550 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people infected to 386,015 with 3,873 active cases.
There was one new death reported, for a total of 11,284 since the start of the pandemic, and 110 hospitalizations; an increase of eight over the previous day. Of that 110, 33 people were in intensive care, an increase of four.
In the Eastern Townships the number of active cases remained unchanged at 187 after two days of decreases, although the distribution of those cases changed slightly. Sherbrooke continues to have the Townships’ highest concentration of active cases, at 105, followed by the Haute-Yamaska, with 37.
The number of people hospitalized due to Covid in the Townships increased to seven on Wednesday, three of whom were in intensive care.