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QR code Christmas sweaters display vaccine passport, are ‘functional’, Toronto company says

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WATCH: With bars and restaurants open this holiday season, many will be looking to get out and celebrate. But as we know, you'll need to have your proof of vaccination stored on your phone — unless you have the right sweater on. Kayla McLean explains – Dec 8, 2021

First there was paper. Then there were QR codes. Now, there’s a new way to display your vaccine status — with a festive twist.

It’s called the ‘Ugly Sweater Passport‘. Yes, you read that correctly.

“It’s not an ugly thing that we’re vaccinated. In fact, it’s a really good thing — and there’s no reason to hide it,” Simon Creet, chief creative officer at The Hive, told Global News.

His Toronto-based marketing and advertising agency are the developers behind the festive jumper. “We all have to show share our vaccination status, but it doesn’t mean it has to be such an ugly, cold, Scrooge kind of experience,” Creet said.

“We wanted to add a little bit of the festive spirit to it.”

Read more: Plan to ease Ontario’s vaccine passport up in the air in wake of Omicron variant: Elliott

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The one-of-a-kind sweaters display the wearer’s vaccination status as a QR code incorporated into the design, right across the chest. The QR code contains the wearer’s name and date of birth, Creet says.

“There’s no other information, and when we make a sweater, right away we get rid of that information. We don’t store anything,” said Creet.

Hitting up a bar for a pint or eggnog this holiday season just got easier, the company says. Gone are the days of frantically fumbling deep through your phone for those screenshots of your vaccine passport, all while others get impatient in line behind you.

“This makes it simple, makes it easy to walk right in and get to the fun,” said Creet.

Festive jumpers come in the colours, red and black and display ‘functional’ QR code of wearer’s vaccine passport across the front. Global News Screenshot

The company says the code is totally scannable and will gain you entry into any establishment. However, Creet does flag that the sweater won’t replace a person’s official government documents.

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“[The sweaters are] in addition to, not instead of. So with this, it’s just for some holiday fun — you’ll still need to bring your proper [vaccination] status and your ID,” said Creet.

Read more: Situation ‘resolved’ after claims London, Ont. restaurant didn’t enforce vaccine rules: MLHU

For Adrienne Bertrand, wine director at the Loop Line Wine & Food wine bar, the time-saving aspect alone makes her eager to get in on this ugly Christmas sweater craze.

“I think [the sweaters] are quite clever, makes everybody feel welcomed — like they’re part of something,” said Bertrand. “Makes my job really, really easy — and you’re never going to forget your vaccine passport.”
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As for how much these festive threads cost?

“The sweaters are free,” Creet said.

The only catch is you’ll have to sign up online at UglySweaterPassport.com for a chance to snag one, as supplies are limited.

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