Quebec is going to test its COVID-19 vaccine passports at an upcoming hockey game in Shawinigan ahead of rolling out the system next month.
The province announced Friday its third pilot project to try out its smartphone application will take place at a pre-season Quebec Major Junior Hockey League match on Aug. 24.
Participation is optional and no one will be refused entry to the arena, according to the government.
Maxime Blouin, spokesperson for the QMJHL, said in a statement the sports organization has “an important civic responsibility and a role model to play in Quebec society.” He also encouraged fans to get vaccinated as the hockey season looms.
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Quebec has previously tested out its vaccine passports at a bar and a gym in the province’s capital earlier this month.
The system, which will come into effect on Sept. 1, means Quebecers will have to be fully vaccinated in order to access some non-essential services. This includes bars, restaurants and gyms.
Officials have said the goal of the vaccine passports is to prevent lockdown measures like last fall, when schools reopened and the cold weather set in. Health Minister Christian Dubé reiterated the government’s objective Friday.
“The vaccination passport is to us a key strategy to better control the evolution of this fourth wave of cases, which is currently on the rise,” he said in a statement. “The goal is to allow appropriately vaccinated people to go about their daily activities.”
The latest pilot project comes as Quebec is dealing with climbing novel coronavirus infections, with the province reporting more than 500 cases Friday — marking its highest daily tally since the spring.
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—With files from the Canadian Press
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