Despite rising COVID-19 case numbers across Alberta, the province will not require Albertans to show proof of vaccination to access events, businesses, or services.
“To be clear, the Alberta government has not and will not mandate a so-called ‘vaccine passport’ for domestic use,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro said on Thursday, Aug. 26, in a post to social media.
The province will, however, be updating the MyHealthRecords website to include a printable, conveniently-sized proof of a COVID-19 vaccination paper card for St. Albertans and Albertans alike to be used both domestically and for international travel.
Shandro made the social media post announcement in response to questions about proof of vaccination and vaccination cards, and criticisms over the way the hand-signed vaccination papers from Alberta Health Services may look to other jurisdictions.
The minister of health’s office forwarded inquiries about vaccine passports in B.C. and certain Alberta venues to the Alberta Health's director of communications and public engagement, Chris Bourdeau.
Bourdeau said the province is working to streamline this process to further enable people who may have limited access to MyHealthRecords to receive their vaccination records.
“Every Albertan, upon being vaccinated, received a paper copy record of their vaccination. This record will work both for domestic and international travel purposes,” said Bourdeau in an email.
If an Albertan no longer has their paper copy record, they can sign up for MyHealthRecords to access their vaccination records to use digitally or to print out a hard copy, said Bourdeau.
If digital access is not an option, Bourdeau recommends people contact the pharmacy or doctor’s office they received a vaccine at, or if they received a vaccine through AHS to contact one of the 141 AHS public-health clinics throughout the province.
On Aug. 23 the B.C. provincial government announced they will be requiring individuals born in 2009 and earlier to provide evidence of at least one dose of COVID immunization to attend a range of social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses after Sept. 13 and will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 24.
Businesses and events which will require proof of vaccination include indoor ticketed events such as concerts and sporting events; indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs, and bars; nightclubs, casinos, and movies theatres; all recreational facilities, such as pools and gyms; and classes and activities, such as pottery and art.
Anyone getting married in B.C. or attending a wedding will also require proof of vaccination, along with other indoor organized gatherings such as parties, conferences, meetings, and workshops.
Post-secondary students living on campus must be partially vaccinated by Sept. 7.
The regulations are in place until Jan. 31, 2022, but may be extended if necessary.
In an Aug. 24 press statement, the Oilers Entertainment Group also announced vaccine requirements.
For the Oilers' first pre-season hockey game on Sept. 28, fans aged 12 and up will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days before the day of attendance or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the scheduled start time.
AEG Presents, a major live music and event company, will also be implementing a vaccine policy to take effect Oct. 1 for concert-goers, while Ticketmaster is stating certain event organizers are opting for entry requirements.
Both the B.C. government and Oilers group said the reason behind the move is to prevent the spread of COVID-19.