If You Want Weed or Wine in Quebec, You’d Better Get Jabbed
(Bloomberg) -- Quebec has tried everything from restaurant closures to a curfew to slow down hospitalizations as the omicron variant rages on. It’s now adding a more draconian measure to its arsenal: Requiring vaccination proof to enter government-owned alcohol and pot stores.
From Jan. 18, residents will need a vaccine passport to enter Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) and Societe quebecoise du cannabis stores, Health Minister Christian Dube said Thursday. Other restrictions targeting unvaccinated people will follow, he said.
“I hope it will be an additional incentive for some to go get their first dose,” Dube said. “Unfortunately, we need to protect them from themselves and protect our health-care network.”
The measure is likely to ruffle some feathers in a province known for its appreciation of wine and food. But Dube stopped short of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said this week that his government’s vaccination strategy is meant to “p--- off” people who haven’t taken the coronavirus shot.
Quebec’s goals are simply to limit contact and protect the unvaccinated, Dube said. Almost a fifth of residents over the age of five are not fully vaccinated -- meaning they’ve not yet had two doses -- but that group accounted for about 50% of people in intensive care units in the last month, data show.
“We’re going to make sure they understand very well that if they can’t get vaccinated, then they must stay home,” Dube said.
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