Quebec to require vaccination to buy alcohol, cannabis from some stores: unvaccinated should ‘stay home’

Quebec will soon require individuals to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to purchase alcohol or cannabis from government-funded stores.

Health Minister Christian Duby announced the new measure during a press conference Thursday, saying officials will set a deadline once all citizens have had a chance to get a third shot.

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“If vaccinators are not happy with this situation, there is a very simple solution at your disposal,” the minister said. “It’s a vaccination. It’s free.”

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada – June 8, 2019: A Quebec Cannabis Corporation (SDQC) store in a mall on Boulevard de la Gappe. The county-owned company is responsible for the sale of recreational cannabis in the county in operation (iStock / iStock)

Dube argued that by restricting access to unvaccinated individuals, the government limited their contacts and thus any risk of transmitting the virus.

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“If you don’t want to get a vaccine, stay at home,” he added, echoing a similarly harsh tone voiced by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he wanted to “furiously anger” the unvaccinated citizens of his country, but Dube insists the goal is not to provoke Unvaccinated fury.

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French President Emmanuel Macron greets Quebec Prime Minister François Legault, before their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France January 21, 2019. Rafael Yagobzadeh / Pool via REUTERS (Reuters)

The restriction is part of an expansion of the vaccination passport system that will require three doses (including a booster dose) to qualify. The government currently allows access to booster shots for residents 50 and older, but officials plan to extend that access to all adults starting Jan. 17, CBC reported.

Crown companies – which are funded by the government or state-owned companies – held talks with officials this week ahead of the announcement, according to Société des alcohols du Québec (SAQ) spokesperson Yann Langlais Plante.

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Blunt pledged that the organization would implement the new mandates “as we have done with all other efforts that have been undertaken since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to CTV Montreal.

This requirement will also affect cannabis clinics operated by the Société Québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).

The Washington Post reports that Quebec will also request a 10pm to 5am curfew as part of expanded restrictions to curb new infections.

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Opposition leader Dominique Engled of the region’s Liberal Party accused the government of making decisions based on politics rather than science, claiming that the Legault administration had “lost control”.

“All of this is causing a lot of concern to the residents, and François Legault is nowhere to be seen this week,” Engeld said after Legault did not appear during Thursday’s press conference.

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