Quebec’s vaccine passport system was launched on Wednesday, and while Montreal business owners said the day generally went well, they lamented the thought of turning potential clients away and increasing their employees’ workloads.
Hamid Kiani, the owner of bakery and café Vasconia Boulangerie in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, said he had already refused entry to several clients earlier in the morning because they didn’t have evidence they had received two shots of COVID-19 vaccine.
“We lost three or four groups of people here because I asked them to show me their passport and they didn’t have it,” he said in an interview. “They said, ‘We have our passport but it is not with us at this moment.'”
The government is requiring anyone in the province to show proof of vaccination to access businesses and events deemed non-essential, such as restaurants, gyms and festivals. Patrons are required to show quick response codes, or QR codes, issued by the government, which are scanned by a smartphone application. People from outside the province must show ID and a paper copy of their proof of vaccination.
Kiani said he posted a sign on his café’s door informing people of the new health order, and he said he planned to print out a copy of his QR code and place it near the cash register so clients feel comfortable.
At Café Chez Téta, a Lebanese restaurant, co-owner Mélodie Roukoz said she also made a sign informing customers they need to have proof of vaccination and ID ready.