Manitobans can now sign up for the federal government’s standard proof of COVID-19 vaccination system.
Fully-vaccinated Manitobans can sign up for the standardized national proof of vaccination through the same provincial website where the province’s proof of vaccination cards are available.
“You can print it off to carry it with you, if needed, or you can keep it on your phone or electronic device,” Reg Helwer, minister of central services, said Monday.
The provincial passport has been required to get into restaurants, pro sporting events, cinemas and other venues. Helwer said it is still preferable in those cases because it contains less personal health information than the federal one.
The provincial QR code reveals a person’s name and whether they are fully inoculated. The federal one also contains information on what kind of vaccines were given and on what dates, Helwer said.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced all provinces and territories have confirmed they will be moving forward with the pan-Canadian proof of vaccination.
Unlike Manitoba’s already existing proof of vaccination card, the federal system will be digital only, meaning no physical card will be sent out, provincial officials said Monday.
The federal proof of vaccination QR code will be sent through email, along with a printable PDF.
The federal cards will go into effect starting Oct. 30, and will be used by anyone 12 and up to prove vaccination status for international and domestic travel. Provincial officials say a valid Canadian passport will be required as proof of identity along with the federal QR code for international travel.
There will be a short transition period until Nov. 30 to allow the unvaccinated to show a negative molecular COVID-19 test instead.
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Provincial officials say they’re still recommending Manitobans use their provincial proof of vaccination cards within Manitoba, although both will be valid within the province.
They say the province will be updating its verifying app by mid-November so that businesses and others checking codes can validate both proof of vaccinations through the technology.
The federal vaccine passport will show your name, date of birth, and COVID-19 vaccine history — including which doses you got, and when you got them, Trudeau said last week.
The vaccine passport will have a common look and feel across the country, according to officials, including a “Canada” wordmark in the top corner.
Canadians will be able to use the proof of vaccination system both within Canada and for international travel, the officials said.
Officials said the proof of vaccination system also complies with the SMART Health Card standard, which uses technology that will allow officials to verify and authenticate the information without giving access to any other health or identity information.
— with files from Rachel Gilmore and The Canadian Press
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
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