Long-standing Montreal cocktail bar Taverne Midway is the latest to offer itself up to conduct a trial run for Quebec’s forthcoming vaccine passport system.
On August 20, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., the Quartier des Spectacles bar will scan customers’ proof of vaccination QR codes using the province’s newly developed smartphone application.
Quebec yesterday launched what will become a series of pilot projects designed to hone the implementation of the system on-site and assess the app's effectiveness. The coronavirus vaccine passport system will be used province-wide on September 1, when it becomes mandatory for visitors to places like restaurants, bars, and festivals to be fully vaccinated. (However, access to the app will become available as early as the week of August 23.)
Sharing the news — and a link to the La Presse article reporting on it — on Facebook yesterday, Taverne Midway said that its decision to participate in the province’s pilot project should not be interpreted as a stance on the vaccination, but rather an effort to contribute to the beleaguered restaurant community. “We believe that our involvement will favourably influence the management of the new tasks, which will inevitably affect the daily lives of restaurateurs,” it said (originally in French, but translated here).
The bar assured that customers who do not wish to participate in the trial run would not be refused entry.
The Taverne Midway pilot project is, as of yet, the only one slated for Montreal. It will follow two others being conducted elsewhere in Quebec: one already underway at sports bar chain La Cage in Quebec City and another at an Éconofitness gym outlet in Laval.
Tweeting during the first day of testing at La Cage, health minister Christian Dubé said, “I was able to do the test myself with customers on-site, and it works very well, very easy to use.”
Dubé announced at a news conference on Tuesday that the province would implement the vaccine passport system for non-essential services as of next month to combat an “inevitable” fourth wave of COVID-19, dominated by the highly infectious delta variant.