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Starting Monday, Alberta’s vaccine passport requires 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Click to play video: 'Alberta businesses need more help despite new restrictions exemption program grant' Alberta businesses need more help despite new restrictions exemption program grant
Late last week, the Alberta government announced a one-time payment of $2,000 for small and medium-sized businesses that choose to implement the restrictions exemption program. But as Chris Chacon reports, some in the Edmonton business community say more supports are needed – Oct 11, 2021

Starting Oct. 25, Albertans will need to provide proof of two COVID-19 vaccine doses to be allowed into many restaurants, movies, sporting events and other businesses.

Read more: Alberta announces support for businesses implementing COVID-19 vaccine passport

Businesses and venues that implement the restrictions exemption program — described in other jurisdictions as a vaccine passport — require everyone entering to show proof of vaccination or a privately-paid-for negative rapid antigen, rapid PCR, or lab-based PCR test approved by Health Canada.

If they bring in the REP, businesses can continue operating as usual, without reduced hours or capacity limits. Masking is still mandatory (when not eating and drinking).

Click to play video: 'Phase 2 of Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program begins Monday' Phase 2 of Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program begins Monday
Phase 2 of Alberta’s Restriction Exemption Program begins Monday – Oct 24, 2021

Alberta announced it would be bringing in a vaccine passport system on Sept. 15 to help combat the fourth wave of the pandemic.

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Read more: Alberta adds COVID-19 measures, vaccine passport in effort to prevent health-care system’s collapse

Initially, Albertans only needed to show proof of their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in order to access places implementing the REP. However, that changes on Monday.

“Anyone accessing a business, venue and service participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program will need to provide government-issued proof of having received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days earlier,” the province said in a news release Friday.

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More people rolling up their sleeves after Alberta announces COVID-19 vaccine passport program – Sep 16, 2021

“Those who are not fully vaccinated can still choose to provide a privately paid negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours or valid proof of medical exemption.”

First Nation, out-of-province and Canadian Armed Forces vaccine records are accepted proofs of vaccination, the province stressed, as is the ArriveCan app and valid international travel identity document.

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Daily COVID-19 numbers

On Friday, Alberta Health said 656 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the last 24 hours out of 10,732 tests.

There were 889 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 191 of whom were being treated in ICUs.

Twelve COVID-related deaths were reported to Alberta Health over the last 24 hours.

As of Friday, there were 10,037 active cases in Alberta.

Click to play video: 'Questions raised over Alberta’s version of a vaccine passport program' Questions raised over Alberta’s version of a vaccine passport program
Questions raised over Alberta’s version of a vaccine passport program – Sep 16, 2021

The province cited evidence in Alberta that shows having two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine “offers 90 to 91 per cent protection against COVID-19.

“Getting fully vaccinated helps protect you, your loved ones and the health-care system,” the province explained.

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As of Friday, 6,424,188 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta.

Read more: Reality check: Comparing Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine uptake after $100 incentive and passport

Eighty-six-point-four per cent of eligible Albertans 12 and older have received one dose of vaccine and 78.3 per cent have received two doses.

The vast majority of Albertans in ICU with COVID-19 are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated. On Friday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw shared that 88 per cent of those in ICU with COVID-19 were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated.

“The rising vaccination rates combined with our public health measures are helping to drive down the number of new and active cases and relieve the pressure on our health-care system,” Health Minister Jason Copping said in a news release.

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“Getting vaccinated is the best protection we have against COVID-19 and I thank every Albertan who has made the decision to get immunized,” Hinshaw added. “With the Delta variant, the second dose is even more important, so by getting both doses, you are increasing your protection and helping make your community safer.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s vaccine passport system starts amid growing fourth wave' Alberta’s vaccine passport system starts amid growing fourth wave
Alberta’s vaccine passport system starts amid growing fourth wave – Sep 20, 2021

Starting Nov. 15, Albertans will be required to show their vaccine record with QR code for proof of vaccination at all businesses participating in the REP. Their vaccination status will be confirmed through the AB COVID Records Verifier app. Proof of personal identification is still required, the province said.

Albertans can get their QR code online without creating an account.

A printed proof of vaccination with a QR code can be requested from a local registry agent office or by calling 811, at no cost.

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