Manitobans are starting to get used to seeing and scanning COVID-19 proof of immunization to be able to partake in some activities and services throughout the province, but as travel across the country ramps up, there are concerns when it comes to out-of-province visitors and what proof they will need to provide.
“It’s very challenging,” said Shaun Jeffrey, executive director of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
Under current public health orders, proof of vaccination is required for anyone who wishes to skip the province’s required domestic quarantine when coming to Manitoba, eat indoors with people they don’t live with, attend a Winnipeg Blue Bombers game or go to a museum.
While Manitoba is issuing proof-of-immunization cards and QR codes to those who are fully vaccinated, there is no standardized cross-country program or ‘vaccine passport,’ which is causing some confusion for businesses trying to follow the rules.
“To say that it’s an additional stress load is an understatement,” Jeffrey said.
Jeffrey said his association has been given no guidance from the province on what is acceptable or how restaurants can verify that what is presented is legit.
“Because (other provincial records) don’t have that same ability and QR codes and vaccine passports that you have here in Manitoba. So, you know, it is quite demoralizing for a lot of those operations.”
Every province provides their residents with something different, whether it is a paper record, a handwritten vaccine card or a record that needs to be printed from a provincial health website.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will work with provinces to ensure there is an “internationally accepted proof of vaccination” for international travel, but will leave domestic options up to the provincial governments.
“Different provinces will be doing different things, where the federal government has a role to play and where we are looking is in terms of vaccine certification for international travel,” Trudeau said during a July 13 news conference.
There are four types of acceptable proof of immunization that can be used in Manitoba, according to the province:
- Manitoba Immunization Card
- National Defence Canada Covid-19 Vaccine Record / Card
- Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Travel Vaccination Record
- official document issued by a Canadian province or territory containing information of a person’s COVID-19 vaccination history
Once a business or venue checks one of the above cards they should confirm the individual’s identity against government-issued ID.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization said it will have separate lines at IG Field for those with out-of-province vaccination.
“They will show their ID from whatever province they are a part of and we have a list of what is acceptable,” Blue Bombers president Wade Miller said.
“They will do those at all those ticketing tents at each gate, so the fan services, not through the normal line.”
Anyone with a Manitoba Immunization Card or QR code will be able to enter through the normal gate and also provide government-issued ID.