Lethbridge businesses using Restriction Exemption Program now require QR code upon entry
Paper immunization records will no longer be accepted as proof of vaccination at non-essential businesses in Alberta.
Instead, places like restaurants and gyms taking part in Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) will only accept a provincial QR code upon entry.
The updated system will see businesses scan the QR codes using an app and check that identification matches.
Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce CEO Cyndi Vos says the cost to businesses is minor.
“It’s very accessible through the App Store, so when you go into a business right now you see it on cellphones, iPads, so that part shouldn’t be too bad for businesses to adjust to,” said Vos.
The downloadable QR code is available at COVIDRecords.Alberta.ca using your health care number. Vos says it's just one more thing for employees to do.
“Is it convenient, no, but this QR code does make it a bit easier because you get out whatever scanning device your using, you hit it, and then you see the person’s ID," said Vos. "Sometimes the paper copy is a little more cumbersome."
JoAnna Dautel, director of operations at the Cor Van Raay YMCA in Lethbridge, says for people accessing their facility, the process should remain relatively the same as when paper records were used.
“Already with the Restriction Exemption Program, we had people email in or show their documentation. So, the only thing that’s really changed is for those that drop in or single-use patrons,” said Dautel.
The YMCA will be providing help to those who are unsure how to download their QR code and will print them free of charge. Dautel says will be assisting customers through the first few days.
“We’ve tried to implement, to keep our community safe, and to make sure it’s as easy as possible for anybody to still access our facility without any barriers including technology that they may not have,” said Dautel.
The YMCA says no personal data is stored or accessed with the scan when visiting the facility.
Vos is asking the community to take it easy these first few days as businesses and staff adjust to the new change.
“There’s an adjustment period for everything, but it does seem that this extra layer of security helps the business owner, and it helps the patrons that are present,” said Vos.
For those who have not been vaccinated -- they can still provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours. Medical exemptions will also be accepted.
With files from CTV Lethbridge's Karsen Marczuk