Excluding food stores and pharmacies.
Premier François Legault announced at a Thursday press conference that Quebec's vaccine passport system will soon apply to big stores, excluding pharmacies and food stores.
Quebecers will soon need to prove they've received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to get into stores that cover an area at least 1,500 m² in size, such as Canadian Tire.
The premier did not say at the press conference when the new measure will take effect.
Recall that Quebec plans to eventually require three vaccine doses for its vaccine passport.
Health Minister Christian Dubé has already warned that the government is planning to expand the vaccine passport system in the coming weeks and months. Starting January 18, the provincial liquor and cannabis stores, the SAQ and SQDC, will ask customers to present their vaccine passports before entering.
Also on Thursday, the premier announced an end to Quebec's controversial curfew as of Monday, January 17. The restriction on nighttime travel first took effect on December 31.
Legault admitted that the curfew, the province's second since the beginning of the pandemic, "shocked a lot of people," but claimed it was necessary to "stop the exponential increase in the number of infections and hospitalizations" amid the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 virus variant.
Quebec reported 8,793 new COVID-19 cases on January 13. Hospitalizations increased by a net 117 patients for a total of 2,994, including 272 in intensive care, a net increase of nine. The province also officially introduced a "level five" protocol for hospital capacity, with a total of 3,493 hospital beds dedicated to patients with COVID-19.
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