Quebec will be expanding its COVID-19 vaccine passport system to require a third dose, said Quebec health minister Christian Dubé at a press conference Thursday.
Dubé did not provide an exact date for the change but said it would be made once all Quebecers were eligible for a third dose.
Currently, Quebec’s general population can receive a third dose only if they are 50 years old or older. All adults will be able to get a booster shot effective Jan. 17.
Dubé added that people would need to show vaccine passports to buy alcohol at the province-run Société des Alcools du Québec or cannabis at the Société Québécoise du Cannabis as of Jan. 18.
He said these measures come as Quebec ramps up its efforts to slow down hospitalizations from COVID-19. According to Dubé, they are necessary in order to protect unvaccinated people.
Dubé also announced that the government would be expanding vaccine passports into other non-essential businesses such as personal care services. This announcement would be made in the coming days.
“By limiting the places (the unvaccinated) can go, we’re limiting their contacts,” said Dubé. “If you don’t want to get vaccinated, stay home.”
According to Dubé, PCR tests have been limited to high-risk populations, and more people are using home test kits. This, he claimed, means the province’s daily case count is an underrepresentation of the spread of COVID-19.
Quebec is looking at allowing people who use rapid test kits at home to go online and declare their positive tests to create a more accurate epidemiological snapshot.
Dubé said this online system should be ready by next week.