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Quebec Is Withdrawing Its Vaccine Passport Mandate for Restaurants and Bars Next Month

It’s shedding the requirement on March 14 — the same day that businesses return to full capacity

Man scanning a QR code on a woman’s phone using an Application and QR code reader on mobile phone. During the Covid-19 pandemic, clients will have to present a proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant, a gym, a concert, a festival, etc… Getty Images/iStockphoto

Quebec is dropping its vaccine passport requirement everywhere across the province, including at restaurants and bars, on March 14, health minister Christian Dubé announced Tuesday, February 15. That rule change will coincide with the return to 100 percent capacity for restaurants and bars — also on March 14.

Vaccine passports have been enforced at Quebec restaurants and bars since September 1, 2021, with customers ages 13 and up required to scan a QR code containing their proof of vaccination when dining in.

Ahead of March 14, the province will gradually abandon vaccine passports in other settings, including large-surface stores and government liquor and cannabis retailers, the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), respectively, where they’ve been in effect for less than a month.

Dubé said that the vaccine passport has been an important tool for boosting vaccination rates in the province, minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare system, and keeping businesses open, but that it has served its purpose.

That said, Dubé isn’t ruling out the possibility of reinstating the system in the future. “We may need it again. Is it next fall? Is it at another time? My advice is to keep it on your phone,” he said.

Dubé did not specify during the news conference whether businesses that wish to continue voluntarily checking vaccine status after March 14 will be able to do so using the app.