Quebec's vaccine passport will be based on the QR codes that the government has already been emailing to Quebecers after each vaccine dose.
There will also be a QR code reader app available for both businesses and individuals.
The app will be available for free on the Apple App Store store, Google Play Store and on all types of smartphones, according to Dubé, who flashed viewers a first glance at what the app will look like during the press conference.
If people are not able to use their mobile phones as vaccine passports, Dubé said they'll be able to use their paper proof of vaccination instead.
When will it come into effect?
The government plans to make the vaccine passport available throughout Quebec as of September 1.
But first, it's testing out the concept with at least two pilot projects.
The first pilot project is set to take place at La Cage restaurant - Brasserie sportive de Lebourgneuf in Quebec City on August 11 and 12 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Another pilot project is set to take place at Éconofitness Vimont gym in Laval (2228, boulevard des Laurentides) on August 17 and 18 from 3 to 8 p.m.
If you're going to either of those establishments during the pilot project, you might want to bring some sort of proof of vaccination with you. If you haven't received your QR code yet, you can download it on Quebec.ca. However, the pilot projects are voluntary and no one will be denied access during these periods.*
Dubé said a few other bars might also run pilot projects, but it's still TBD.
Which activities and places will require a vaccine passport?
The goal of the vaccine passport, according to Dubé, is to "allow adequately vaccinated people access to high traffic public events and high contact rate activities that are places of great socialization for non-essential activities and services."
In other words, the government plans to implement vaccine passports at public events with many people, like festivals and indoor events with large capacities, and places with high contact rates, including bars, restaurants, and gyms. This could also include places where activities like team or contact sports take place.
Vaccine passports will not be required to access essential services or retail stores.
Dubé said the government is working on a plan to provide access to vaccinated people from out-of-province.
He said the government will update us on the week of August 23 to clarify when and how businesses will be able to get the app, as well as to provide the full list of "targeted places."
Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) has issued a "call for vigilance," warning that fake vaccine passport apps have become available on the Google Play store.
"According to the information received, people have copied the visual developed for the VaxiCode app and have succeeded in having these fake applications approved for download on Google Play," says an MSSS press release. "Steps were taken with Google to have the fake apps removed as soon as possible."
⚠️APPEL À LA VIGILANCE - Une fausse application liée au passeport vaccinal du Québec circule actuellement.
The ministry notes that — while this type of copying of popular apps is becoming an "increasingly frequent problem" — the issue has nothing to do with the "integrity or security" of the official apps, which continue to be "secure and ensure the protection of personal information."
To ensure you're downloading the legitimate, official government app, check that the name of the app is exactly correct. For citizens, it should be called exactly "VaxiCode" with no other words before or after. For the merchant, it should be called exactly "VaxiCode Verif" without any other word before or after and without any accent.
The real VaxiCode and VaxiCode Verif apps only require authorization to access the device's camera or files and images and nothing else. VaxiCode also has no ads.
The fake apps are fairly easy to identify because they won't allow you to download your QR code.
A recent post on the agency's official Twitter account states that "the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria."
(1/4) Health Canada has authorized brand name changes for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)1631805234.0
Health Canada asserted that "these are only name changes. There are no changes to the vaccines themselves."
Canada has four approved vaccines: Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), SpikeVax (Moderna), Vaxzervia (AstraZeneca), and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
"All COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada are proven safe, effective and of high quality," Health Canada wrote on Twitter.
Quebec's vaccine passport is in full force on Wednesday, September 15, as a two-week grace period comes to an end. The grace period was designed to give business owners and customers an opportunity to adapt, according to Health Minister Christian Dubé.
Fines for non-use of the passport did not apply in the first two weeks of September.
"I want to be very clear," the health minister said on August 24. "There are penalties and sanctions for inappropriate uses [and] there are sanctions in the criminal code for people who want to alter a document that's used by public health."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.