July 8, 2021 – Provincial Government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccine passport details
Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé announced details of the vaccine passport.
The target date for its implementation is September 1, when all Quebecers aged 12 and over will have been offered the possibility of having access to two doses of vaccine. It will be used only if warranted by the epidemiological situation in a given territory or sector. It will not be used for access to public or essential services.
Its use is envisaged for high-risk, non-essential activities such as gyms, team sports, bars, restaurants, etc., and for moderate or low-risk activities, such as arts and entertainment, festivals and major events, sports events, etc.
“As I have often said, people who refuse to be vaccinated are entitled to do so. But they need to know that in the event of an outbreak or transmission in their area, they may have to self-isolate, be tested or not have access to certain activities,” Mr. Dubé said.
For the time being, the government is not considering preventing students who are not fully vaccinated from attending classes. However, access to extracurricular activities would be prohibited.
The proof of vaccination will take the form of a QR code sent to fully vaccinated people.
Reduced interval between the two doses
The recommended interval between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine is reduced from eight to four weeks.
New health measures starting July 12
Effective Monday, July 12, the distance to be maintained between people of different residences will be reduced from two metres to one metre, both indoors and outdoors.
The required distance remains two metres for high-intensity activities in gyms, as well as for singing activities.
Additionally, there will no longer be a limit on the number of customers in shops, but owners will have to ensure that the one-metre distance between customers is maintained.
In indoor or outdoor auditoriums with fixed seating, a seat should be left free between people who do not live at the same address.
For sports and leisure activities where spectators are seated in stands, the maximum number of people that can be admitted is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.
18 to 29: the least-vaccinated age group
According to data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, 68.1% of 18- to 29-year-olds have now received their first dose of vaccine, while 15.7% are fully vaccinated.
“I’m telling you it’s starting to be urgent that you get your first dose if it’s not done in July. The clock is ticking if you want to be properly immunized by September 1. Don’t wait until you’re banned from bars or activities that are important to you,” Mr. Dubé stressed.
Finally, the Minister explained that 95% of those who contracted COVID-19 during the week of June 28 to July 3 were not adequately vaccinated. For hospitalizations, the percentage was the same.