People in Quebec who are not fully vaccinated may be denied access to certain activities in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, starting in September.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube outlined a plan Thursday to introduce COVID-19 passports on a limited basis, saying it would help avoid widespread closures.
Dube said the plan will not be implemented until all Quebecers have been given the opportunity to receive two doses of the vaccine. He stressed that proof of vaccination would be required only in areas experiencing outbreaks.
However, some fear the infringement of basic rights.
While the intention may be to encourage more people to get vaccinated before the fourth wave hits, Keri Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, said vaccine passports raise ethical concerns because they “definitely come with an element of control for them.”
However, Vardet Ravitsky, a bioethicist who teaches at the University of Montreal and Harvard Medical School, said she believed announcing the plan early was a good move and would encourage people to receive the vaccination — something she said could prevent the use of the passport altogether.
She said this is the right approach to request proof of vaccination for specific locations and to raise the health order when the outbreak is over.
“This is a targeted proposition…so subtle that it really does take care of all the concerns we sometimes have about discrimination, because it is not meant to punish those who have not been vaccinated, and it is not meant to create barriers for anyone. It is just meant to keep as much community going Open and pragmatic about the outbreak of the virus.”
“It aims to protect the healthcare system while protecting our economy.”
She said it was reasonable to prevent someone who chose not to be vaccinated from visiting a bar for a specified period of time. “The limitations they would have would be very slight, and I think for the greater good, it’s a very reasonable and proportionate idea.”
In a press release Thursday, the county health department did not provide a specific list of places where the vaccine passport would be required, but indicated that it could be used in bars, gyms, restaurants, sporting events and festivals.
Kara Zwebel, director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said more details were needed about how the passport system worked.
She said she has concerns about how private health data is stored, who holds it, how secure it is, and whether it can be shared with companies.
What’s happening all over Canada
As of 12:45 p.m. ET Friday, Canada has reported 1,419,678 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,443 active cases. The national death toll has reached 26,415. More than 41.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far across the country, according to the CBC Vaccine Tracker.
at british columbia, Health officials announced 59 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death on Thursday.
Alberta Health officials Thursday reported no new deaths from COVID-19 and 23 new cases, the lowest daily number in 13 months.
The Calgary stampede officially took off on Friday morning, and is back after being called off last year for the first time in nearly a century due to the pandemic.
New safety measures include halving daily attendance, setting up sewage stations for the public and improving cleaning across the land. Staff and volunteers are required to wear masks and take rapid COVID-19 tests.
Manitoba It reported 86 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and three more deaths.
Saskatchewan It reported 113 new cases and no new deaths on Thursday. This was the governorate’s highest number of daily cases since June 3, when it reported 131 new cases.
The county said the increase in cases was “largely attributable” to a previously reported outbreak in Hatchett Denisoulin 1 Lake, which is about 850 kilometers north of Saskatoon, near Lake Wollaston.
in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia Another case was registered on Friday.
new bronze No new cases or deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Friday. The county has vaccinated 79.1 percent of its eligible residents with at least one dose and 47.5 percent with two doses.
Newfoundland and Labrador On Friday, it confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 aboard the cargo ship Iver Ambition, currently moored at Conception Bay.
This brings the total confirmed positive cases on board the ship to 14 crew members. The Ministry of Health said in a media statement that all of them are still isolated on the ship, and there is no danger to the community.
Prince Edward Island No new cases were reported on Friday.
Dr. Heather Morrison, Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer, said point-of-entry testing rules have been modified so that COVID-19 testing is not required for anyone from within Atlantic Canada who has a PEI permit.
There has been no decision yet on how people from outside Atlantic Canada will be treated once they enter the province with a PEI card as of July 18.
The county also dropped the mandatory wearing of masks indoors. Morrison said people will not be required to wear masks in most indoor settings, but will be encouraged to do so, based on vaccine status, personal health status and preparation.
Across the North on Thursday, no new cases were reported Nunavut or the Northwest Territories, But Yukon 10 new infections were recorded.
at QuebecOn Friday, health officials reported 77 new cases, plus one death that occurred in the past 24 hours.
Ontario There were 183 new cases of COVID-10 and nine new deaths on Friday, a day after government officials announced more than 50 percent of adults in the county received two doses of the vaccine.
CBC News has confirmed that the county government plans to lift more COVID-19 restrictions on July 16, allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.
What is happening around the world
As of Friday, more than 185.7 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. The reported world death toll has reached more than four million.
In the Asia Pacific On Friday, a senior minister said, Indonesia will impose emergency restrictions in some areas outside the islands of Java and Bali to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Economy Minister Erlanga Hartarto told a news conference that the emergency measures would be similar to those applied in Bali and Java and would affect 15 cities in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.
In the AmericasCases of COVID-19 in the United States have jumped 11 percent from last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The CDC said the increase is almost complete among people who have not yet been vaccinated.
at EuropeFrance’s health minister said on Friday that the most contagious delta variant of the coronavirus would likely account for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the country, starting this weekend.
Olivier Veran said the surrogate now accounts for nearly 50 per cent of new infections. He said a fourth wave of COVID-19 could hit France as early as the end of July and he is urging as many people as possible to get vaccinated.
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