Albertans will soon have to show proof of vaccine or COVID negative COVID-19 testing to gain access to many businesses and events.
The province has more than 18,000 active cases – the most of any province. As of Wednesday, 877 people in the hospital were ill and 218 were in intensive care.
Months after rejecting the vaccine passport’s premise, Premier Jason Kenny on Wednesday announced sweeping new measures to combat the COVID-19 surge, but under a different name: the immunity program.
As of September 20, non-essential businesses and services have the option of requiring proof of vaccination for parents who wish to access their services – or opt out of the program and comply with strict capacity and operational restrictions.
But restrictions on out-of-state businesses are changing, and some Albertans have expressed confusion about what documents should be provided and how to access it.
Here’s what we know so far about the show.
When should Albertans start showing evidence of vaccination?
From September 20 to October 25, vaccine-eligible Albertans require proof of a single dose to access many non-essential services – and at least two weeks before service time.
After October 25, proof of two doses is required.
I am a businessman. Do I need to register for this program?
No, but the government says there will be audits and enforcement to make sure the rules are followed.
Alberton I was vaccinated. What can I use as proof of vaccination and where can I find it?
Albertans can show the paper immunization record they received during the vaccine.
The government says that if you lose a copy of your paper, you can print it online at MyHealthRecords or contact the pharmacy or clinic where you were vaccinated and request another copy.
The Albertans will be able to print a small card entered on MyHealth Records, which will show proof of vaccination to be kept in their wallets from September 19, the government says.
Alternatively, a digital copy of vaccine records is available on the MyHealth Records smartphone app, and the government advises you to save or print a copy on your phone.
However, Albertans who are currently trying to access MyHealth Records are being warned about the long wait times to access the website and op.
The government says it is also working on providing proof of vaccination through the QR code “in the coming weeks.”
I am a non-vaccinated Alberton. What do I need if I plan to go out?
You need to plan in advance.
A COVID negative Covid-19 PCR or rapid test performed by a non-vaccinated Albertans private company must be shown and completed within 72 hours of discharge.
The government has stipulated that tests should not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.
What happens to businesses that implement the program?
They should be able to function “as usual,” the government says, serving only those who have vaccinated proof or who have recently had a privately-paid negative test.
What restrictions apply to restaurants not participating in the program?
Indoor meals are not allowed, but a maximum of six people on the table – one in-house, or two intimate contacts with a single person – are allowed to eat outside.
Alcohol sales should end at 10 pm, consumption should end at 11 pm
What restrictions apply to indoor retail, entertainment and re-centers that do not participate in the program?
Capacity is limited to one-third of the code occupancy, and requires masking and two meters of physical distance.
People should only be with family members or if two people live alone.
What restrictions apply to adult gyms and fitness centers that do not participate in the program?
Indoor group classes and activities are not allowed, and indoor competitions are punctuated except for vaccine exemptions.
Indoor training and solo activities with each other are allowed with a physical distance of three meters.
However, outdoor activities can continue without any restrictions.
Who is exempt from the program in Alberta?
The government says businesses or entities that need to be accessed for daily living are not part of the program.
This does not apply to employees of enterprises participating in the program, those who have a medical immunity document for vaccines, or children under 12.