A look at COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination programs across Canada

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Saskatchewan on Thursday became the latest province to announce plans to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine passport.

Here’s a look at what the provinces and territories have said about their proof-of-vaccination programs, or lack thereof.

British Columbia

Residents of B.C. need a vaccine card to get into restaurants, clubs, ticketed sporting events and organized affairs like weddings. People have to show proof of having had a single dose of a vaccine to enter gyms, fitness centres and casinos. After Oct. 24, those aged 12 and older will need to be fully vaccinated at least seven days earlier. The card can be downloaded onto mobile phones and printed versions are also available.

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Alberta is bringing in a vaccine passport system. Starting Sept. 20, businesses or event organizers that check patrons for government-issued proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be exempt from new restrictions. For example, restaurants that don’t require proof of vaccination will be limited to outdoor dining, and retail shops and nightclubs are limited to one-third capacity with masks and two-metre distancing.

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Saskatchewan is bringing in a vaccine passport starting Oct. 1. Proof of vaccination will apply to nightclubs, bars, casinos, movie theatres, museums, indoor dining at restaurants and sporting events. It won’t be required for civil services, retail or grocery stores, places of worship, at hotels or at non-ticketed amateur sporting events. Those who are not vaccinated can also show a negative COVID-19 test.

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Manitoba launched a vaccine card _ both digital and physical _ in June. On Friday, the province is expanding the areas where it will be required. The list includes indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events and concerts; indoor theatres and cinemas; restaurants including patios, nightclubs, gyms and casinos.

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Ontario will require residents aged 12 and older to show their vaccine receipt and a piece of government-issued photo ID starting Sept. 22 in order to access the indoor areas of restaurants and bars, nightclubs, meeting and event spaces, gyms and theatres. As of Oct. 22, residents will receive a QR code that will serve as proof of vaccination, which businesses can scan using a government app. Proof of vaccination will not be required to access services including retail stores and hair salons.

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Quebec launched its vaccine passport on Sept. 1, which is required to access certain non-essential activities and businesses, including bars, restaurant dining rooms, gyms, festivals, sports venues, cinemas and other large-scale events. It will also apply to all indoor sporting activities and outdoor sports that involve prolonged contact. The proof of vaccination can be uploaded to the VaxiCode smartphone application, or it can be presented as a PDF or in paper form.

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New Brunswick

New Brunswick will be requiring proof of vaccination beginning Sept. 22 in response to the rising cases in the province. In order to get more people vaccinated, Higgs announced Sept. 15 that New Brunswickers aged 12 and over will need to show ID, and prove they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by showing their immunization record or a photograph of it.

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Anyone coming into New Brunswick will also have to register their travel starting Sep 21. Those not fully vaccinated will have to self-isolate for 14 days, or after testing negative on day 10.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia will require residents 12 and older to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to “participate in discretionary, recreational or non-essential activities” starting Oct. 4. The system will apply to restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sporting events. People will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or a single dose of a one-dose vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization. The province says it will develop a process for people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Premier Andrew Furey recently said the province would introduce in the coming weeks a vaccine passport system modelled on the one used in Quebec. On Twitter, he said proof of vaccination will be uploaded to a smartphone application or provided on paper. The tweet said the passport will be required for non-essential recreational activities, and it was accompanied by images including a restaurant menu, a fitness class, a concert, a hockey game and a bingo card. The province already allows residents to download proof of their COVID-19 vaccination online in case they need it when travelling elsewhere.

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Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island doesn’t have a vaccine passport, but it requires travellers or residents returning from another province to register using the PEI Pass. The pass is available to those who have had one dose or are fully vaccinated, depending on where they’re coming from. The pass exempts travellers from isolating upon entry to the province.


The territory is launching an online COVID-19 vaccine credential system. Premier Sandy Silver says the credential will be available online and will help residents when they are asked for proof of vaccination in other jurisdictions, including when they travel. The system will give residents the option of receiving a digital copy or printing a paper copy of their proof of vaccination.

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Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories, residents can request their vaccination records, but the territory says it will not create a vaccine passport system.

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Nunavut has said that it won’t have its own vaccine passport system, but that it will comply with federal requirements as they are decided.

Editor’s note: Information included for New Brunswick was in error. It has since been updated.

–With a file from Aya Al-Hakim

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