Montreal hospital visitors require proof of vaccination but exceptions apply

MUHC. File by Tim Sargeant/Global News

As of Oct. 15, if you’re visiting a Quebec hospital, you must show proof of vaccination.

The rule applies to health care centres including hospitals, long-term care homes, clinics and seniors residences.

But different institutions have different exceptions.

At the MUHC, hospital visitors are asked for their vaccine passports, but people who come for treatment and some people who accompany them can stay regardless of their vaccination status.

In MUHC outpatient clinics, caregivers accompanying a patient requiring assistance with mobility, translation, cognitive impairment will be allowed to enter.

For the inpatient unit, caregivers visiting a patient who is at the end of life, in labour, unable to consent to their care, needing assistance that cannot be provided by the hospital are allowed in.

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Read more: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination now required to enter Quebec hospitals, long-term care homes

Visitors, however, must follow certain rules such as wearing masks at all times, staying in the patient room, waiting room or examination room, maintaining a two-metre distance from others, especially if eating or drinking, and not using the common areas such as restaurants or shops.

Children’s hospitals such as the Montréal Children’s Hospital have different exceptions.

Emergency and outpatient children up to 18 years-old are allowed to be accompanied by a parent or caregiver, even if they don’t have the COVID-19 vaccine.

For inpatients, two essential caregivers are also allowed in and are given a designated bracelet.

But siblings of a patient under 12 years old, who are not vaccinated, are not admitted as the fourth wave of the pandemic is ongoing, until further notice.

Read more: Quebec delays COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline for health workers

“For us it was really important that all of our pediatric patients up to 18 years-old got the parental or caregiver support that the institution can’t provide while making sure we comply with the rules,” said Alexandra Black, the Manager for Quality Improvement at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

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At the Sainte-Justine Hospital, exceptions include the caregiver of an out-clinic patient. They can accompany them to their appointments or if they’re hospitalized. The spouse or caregiver of a patient giving birth is also exempt as well as a patient’s siblings who are under 12 years-old.

The government of Québec has provided a framework of reference but each healthcare centre is allowed to tweak it in order to provide appropriate care for their particular clientele.

Check your hospital’s website for the rules before you head out.

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