Quebec’s bid to increase Covid-19 vaccination rates by requiring people to show proof of vaccine status when entering government-run stores selling cannabis and alcohol appears to have paid off.
Posting on social media, the Canadian province’s health minister Christian Dubé said first-dose appointments have increased from 1,500 to more than 6,000 per day since the move was announced on January 6.
Vaccine passports will be required to enter Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) and Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis (SQDC) locations from tomorrow (January 18). Unvaccinated residents will still be able to receive home deliveries under the new rules.
Dubé said those unhappy with the situation have “a very simple solution” — to get vaccinated. Quebec already requires proof of vaccination to enter healthcare facilities, indoor sports venues, cinemas, bars and nightclubs.
Around a fifth of the region’s 8.5 million population are unvaccinated, but they account for about half of intensive care patients, Dubé said.
He added: “We’re going to make sure they understand very well that if they can’t get vaccinated, then they should stay home.”