Premier Rankin Proposes New Vaccine Pass

Premier Rankin Proposes New Vaccine Pass

HALIFAX, NS – Premier Iain Rankin, today, announced a Liberal government will explore the concept of adopting a provincial vaccine certificate for Nova Scotians to show proof of immunization when dining at restaurants, shopping, visiting gyms and other businesses. 

The Liberal government will support businesses with the operation of the certificate, – the “ScotiaPass” – which would be one more tool in keeping Nova Scotians safe and help to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19. 

Nova Scotia is a proven leader in the fight against COVID, and these new measures are in line with the approach the Liberal government, in consultation with Public Health, has taken since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“I am becoming more concerned with the increase in COVID cases across the country, and the world,” said Premier Rankin. “In Nova Scotia, we have done so well, and we don’t want to squander our hard work. We need to continue testing, wearing masks and getting vaccinated. But I believe a vaccination certificate could help us continue to manage the virus and ensure Nova Scotians are safe and businesses can thrive.” 

The ScotiaPass would allow people to attend events without fear, while not putting people’s health at risk from the Delta variant and other potential variants. 

Limiting the spread of the variants is key to managing the virus. 

Across the country, COVID cases are on the rise again as the Delta variant is aggressively infecting people who are not vaccinated. This is causing experts, including Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, to suggest a fourth wave is already underway in some provinces. 

Ontario reported 400 new cases on Sunday, the most in a single day since June. It recently faced another outbreak in a long-term care facility just outside of Toronto. 

Five residents have died; 86 per cent of the care workers had been vaccinated with one dose; 52 per cent were fully vaccinated. 

The Delta variant was identified in the outbreak. 

Next door in New Brunswick case counts are rising. 

In Nova Scotia, cases remain low, and our vaccination rate is increasing, but Nova Scotians need to remain vigilant. 

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is encouraging Nova Scotians who have not yet moved up their appointments for their second dose to do so. 

There are about 35,000 people in that category. And rescheduling their appointments from the fall to now, for example, would bring the province closer to being able to move into Phase 5. 

As the virus continues to spread, there is a renewed focus on an immunization certificate. 

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said that vaccine passports or digital vaccination certificates would help to prevent future waves of the pandemic. 

Quebec has said it will require proof of immunization for people to access some non-essential services. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he supports Quebec’s move to introduce a passport system, though he has said each province must decide for itself. 

Other jurisdictions are also considering a certificate, and mandatory vaccinations. 

A standard, recognized certificate would relieve the pressure on businesses from having to invent their own systems to screen their patrons or invest in an app or software program.