Alberta ends Covid vaccine QR code reader downloads
Alberta’s QR code reader app will no longer be available for businesses to download, but it will still work for a while, the health minister said.
Health Minister Jason Copping met the media at Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing and said Albertans can still upload their proof of vaccination. However, the QR code application to read it will no longer be available for download.
It comes after the province began rolling back Covid-19 public health restrictions on Tuesday.
Minister Copping said the QR code reader would still work.
“Even if the app is no longer available, the way it works, you don’t need it to respond to a server,” he said.
“In fact, most locations that use the QR code have already downloaded it and have it available. It will continue to work for a while. We just won’t update the app and you won’t be able to download again.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said companies could make their own entry requirements. Cities could also consider their own vaccine passport system. But, he advised against the latter. He said they would try to create a separate municipal public health policy.
“I think that would be a serious problem,” he said.
QR Code reader for cities?
As cities discussed how to move forward in the absence of Alberta’s restrictions waiver program, the issue of a QR code reader was a concern.
“Furthermore, in the future, it is likely that there will be less access to provincial data and a lack of clear measures to know when it would be appropriate to cancel the regulation and no control over the provincial code system. QR,” said Matt Zabloski of the City of Calgary. advisers at Wednesday’s Covid briefing.
District 2 Com. Jennifer Wyness asked Wednesday if the city would have access to a QR code reader if the province removes its own.
Zabloski said there is no commitment that the province’s version will be in place indefinitely. He also said he didn’t know if it would continue. These questions were answered by Copping on Thursday.
Calgary city councilors voted against getting a local vaccine passport. Lack of data and logistics were factors, advisers said. Edmonton, however, has a meeting on Friday to come up with vaccine passport options.
Minister Copping said QR codes remain available, as do readers, for the interim.
Alternatively, companies could require a printed copy of the QR code for visual verification, Copping said.