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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Quebec to start fining those who refuse COVID vaccine

by Paula Newton | CNN

Canada’s Quebec province announced on Tuesday that residents who refused a COVID-19 vaccine would soon be fined.

Officials said the fines would be a way to contribute to a cumbersome public health care system.

“Right now, these people, they put a very significant burden on our health care network, and I think it’s normal that the majority of the population is asking what the consequences are,” Quebec Premier François Legault told a news conference on Tuesday. Will happen.”

“It is also a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices – and I think we are indebted to them for such a measure,” he said.

The fine will not apply to those with medical exemptions, and no details have been announced. Legault, however, said the amount to be imposed would be “significant”.

According to the government of Quebec, about 90% of eligible Quebecers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Public health officials say most patients in Quebec hospitals have not been vaccinated. Officials have not said how many hospitalized Covid patients have not been vaccinated.

Last week, Quebec announced that residents would have to be vaccinated in order to purchase alcohol or cannabis. Quebec’s health minister, Christian Dubey, said in a tweet that following the announcement, vaccine appointments accelerated.

“In just a few days, appointments for the first dose increased from 1.5K per day to over 6K yesterday. Thank you to everyone who decided to get vaccinated. It is not too late to get your first dose. Protect yourself.” Dubey said.

Quebec, where about a quarter of Canadians live, was one of the first provinces to introduce a vaccine passport to Canada. Proof of vaccination is required to eat at restaurants, go to the gym or participate in sporting events.

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And last month, an evening curfew was imposed for the second time to contain the spread of the virus.

Quebec is not the first to take such measures to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Last week, Italy made vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for people 50 and older.

Proof of vaccination is already mandatory for teachers and health workers in Italy. And all employees are required to show proof of vaccination or test negative before entering their workplace from October onwards.

The new vaccine decree for those 50 and older removes the option to get tested rather than vaccinated. A government source told CNN on Thursday that those who refuse to be vaccinated face fines of 600-1,500 euros (about $680-$1,700).

After five days they will lose their salary but they will not be removed from their post. This means that if they get vaccinated they can get paid again, the source said.

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