Quebec, a Canadian province most affected by the Omigron wave, has decided to introduce restrictions on those who are not vaccinated “to protect themselves” and “make them understand that they must stay at home”.
From January 18, shops selling alcohol and cannabis will be accessible only to those with a vaccinated passport, French-speaking provincial health minister Christian Dube explained at a news conference Thursday.
“This is the first step we will take. We must protect them from them and protect our health system,” the minister explained.
“If they’re unhappy, let them go take the first dose.”
“If non-vaccinators are not happy there is a very simple solution: get your first dose, it’s free and easy!” He added.
In the coming days, other non-essential businesses will be added to the list of places where the vaccine passport is required, the minister said.
In Quebec, according to a recent update by the provincial health ministry, nearly 82% of the population over the age of 5 have received two doses of the anti-govt vaccine and 20% have received one-third.
But in recent days there has been an increase in hospital admissions in the province where the health system is weakened by a shortage of people.
The latest report shows 15,874 new cases have been admitted to 1,953 hospitals in the province, according to Christian Dube, who described the situation in hospitals as “very, very difficult”.
Quebec has tightened health restrictions since late December: night curfews have been imposed from 10pm to 5am, and schools and universities such as theaters, bars, restaurants and sports clubs have been closed. Private meetings are also prohibited under severe penalties.
On Monday, the Canadian military was sent to the province to provide logistical assistance for the Govt-19 vaccination campaign.
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