Businesses, Services and Events – Important PEI Vax Pass Information
On October 5, 2021, Prince Edward Island launched the PEI Vax Pass Program. Under this time-limited initiative, some businesses, services and events are required to verify a person’s proof of vaccination for access to their venue or setting. This applies to individuals who are 12 years of age and older.
You must verify that individuals are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by:
- visually checking their government-issued vaccination record (e.g. vaccination details contained on the PEI Vax Pass, PEI government-issued vaccination record that doesn’t contain a QR code or government-issued proof of vaccination from another province/territory);
- scanning the QR code on the PEI Vax Pass using the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App when it becomes available (end of October or
- visually checking the vaccination details on their PEI Vax Pass, if scanning the QR code is not an option.
Individuals 19 years of age and older will also need to show a valid government-issued photo ID. For those who do not have a government-issued photo ID, other forms of government-issued ID will be accepted.
The requirement to verify proof of COVID-19 vaccination is a temporary measure until the risk of COVID-19 to PEI residents is reduced. Failure to follow this Public Health Order may result in a fine.
Where PEI Vax Pass or Proof of Vaccination is Required
For the full list of where a PEI Vax Pass or proof of vaccination is and is not required, click here.
Public Health Measures
For activities and settings where a PEI Vax Pass is required, the following public health measures are still required:
- Develop and follow an enhanced cleaning and disinfection routine.
- Ensure hand washing and/or hand sanitizing stations are available and accessible.
- For organized gatherings, cohorts must be formed of participants up to 200 people indoor and 400 people outdoor; cohorts of people must be kept separate by at least 2m/6ft; for short periods of interaction at entry and exit points, washrooms, and concession stands, physical distancing must be maintained.
- Physical distancing must continue to be maintained in line-ups where there may be unvaccinated individuals also present at the premises (e.g. line-up to pay for meal or to wait for a seat at a restaurant shared with individuals purchasing take-out)
- An operational plan is required outlining the public health measures in place. If there will be multiple cohorts at an organized gathering, a prior approval of the operational plan is required.
- Non-medical mask requirements must continue to be followed
Take steps to prevent people who have to self-isolate from participating in an activity or entering a facility.
Take steps to prevent people who are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 from participating in an activity or entering a facility.
If staff are not fully vaccinated, take every reasonable step to ensure physical distancing among staff and between staff and patrons
Children Under the Age of 12
Children 11 years of age and younger are exempt from needing to provide a PEI Vax Pass to enter businesses, services or attend events at this time as they are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Children who are soon turning 12 years old have a three-month grace period to get fully vaccinated and provide a PEI Vax Pass (e.g. a child whose 12th birthday is September 1, 2021, will have until December 1, 2021 to get fully vaccinated).
A medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination for Island residents may be granted for extremely rare circumstances. Island residents claiming a medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination will be required to have a Medical Exemption Letter from PEI’s Chief Public Health Office to access businesses, services and events where a PEI Vax Pass is required.
Substitute letters or health care provider notes claiming medical exemption will not be accepted.
Medical exemption letters or health care provider notes from other provinces, territories or countries will not be accepted.
What the PEI Vax Pass and COVID-19 Vaccination Record look like
Individuals may present their PEI Vax Pass in digital or paper format:
The PEI Vax Pass also contains their vaccination details should scanning the QR code not be an option, not work or not be preferred by the individual.
PEI’s government-issued COVID-19 immunization record without the QR code will continue to be accepted:
Verifying PEI Vax Pass
Until the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App is available, businesses, services and events requiring proof of vaccination will need to perform a visual check of a person’s vaccination details on their PEI Vax Pass or government-issued COVID-19 vaccination record.
The free PEI Vax Pass Verifier App will be available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by the end of October. Once downloaded, business, services and events will be able to scan a person’s PEI Vax Pass QR code using the verifier app and confirm that person’s vaccination status. After the App is downloaded, an internet connection is not required to verify QR codes. An internet connection will be required to check and download updates to the App. It is recommended to check for updates at least once per week.The App does not store or retain any of the individual’s information.
Step 1: Verify proof of vaccination
Currently, you must perform a visual verification of PEI’s Vax Pass or government-issued COVID-19 vaccination record. When reviewing the document, make sure the individual’s name and both vaccination dates are visible. Individuals may present their digital record on their mobile device or in printed form.
Step 2: Review Photo ID
After verifying the PEI Vax Pass or proof of vaccination, you must also review a piece of government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, voluntary ID, passport, etc.) from individuals who are 19 years of age or older. In reviewing the photo ID, you are confirming that the names listed on the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App or vaccine record and photo ID match and that the photo ID matches the person in front of you. You do not need to check photo ID for individuals 12-18 years of age.
Some individuals may not have government-issued photo ID. In these situations, businesses, services and events can accommodate individuals without a government-issued photo ID by requesting another government-issued document such has health card, birth certificate, etc. to confirm a person’s identity.
For seniors older than age 65, if they do not have government-issued ID, businesses and organizations should employ discretion in accepting the proof of vaccination without associated ID.
When personal information does not match
Some people may have a different name and/or gender marker on their government-issued vaccination record and pieces of identification. You may ask for a second piece of identification and use discretion. Please ensure confidentiality of this personal information for privacy and safety purposes.
Verifying Out-of-Province Proof of Vaccination
The requirement to provide proof of vaccination to access some businesses, services and events also applies to individuals visiting PEI. You can perform a visual verification of the individual’s government-issued vaccination record as provided by their home province, territory or country AND review their photo ID. Visitors to PEI must be fully vaccinated.
Visitors from other provinces or territories
Visitors from other Canadian provinces or territories must provide:
- Provincial/Territorial government-issued vaccination record
- Government-issued photo ID (e.g. National Defence Canada COVID-19 Vaccine Record/Card)
International visitors must provide:
- Proof of vaccination submitted to Canadian Border Services to enter Canada
- Government-issued photo ID confirming their citizenship
Collection and Storage of Information Related to Verifying Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
As per the Public Health Order, operators of businesses, services and organizations required to have patrons provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption :
- shall NOT retain an individual's PEI Vax Pass, government-issued proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption or use it for any purpose except as required by PEI Vax Pass program
- with the written consent of a patron, a business, service or organization may keep a record of the fact only (not the proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption) that a patron has provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of medical exemption to satisfy the requirements of this Order, in relation to a patron who frequently accesses the business, service or organization. The record that proof of vaccination was verified may only be kept as long as the Vax Pass program is in place.
Further, businesses and organizations are advised not to request that clients/participants email them their proof of vaccination/Vax Pass as email is not a secure way to transfer information. In person verification of the individual’s paper or digital record is more secure.
Businesses and organizations should keep all customer and client personal information confidential. Businesses and organizations seeking to collect or retain additional information than that authorized by the public health order for the PEI Vax Pass Program are responsible to seek their own legal counsel; the PEI government is not able to provide legal advice.
If using a QR code reader other than the PEI Vax Pass Verifier App
It is strongly recommended that you use the PEI Vax Pass Verifier app. The app meets the requirements of the PEI Vax Pass Program and has been reviewed for privacy and security. If you use another app, you must complete your own due diligence to ensure it complies with all applicable privacy legislation.
Individuals are considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada or a combination of two different COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada; currently those are:
- 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM
- 2 doses of Moderna SpikevaxTM
- 2 doses of AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM / CoviShield
- Any two-dose combination of the above (e.g. 1 dose of Moderna SpikevaxTM + 1 dose of AstraZeneca VaxzevriaTM)
- 1 dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
If you received one or two doses of a non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine, you will be considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech ComirnatyTM or Moderna SpikevaxTM).
You will also be considered fully immunized 14 days after receiving three doses of any non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Businesses, services and events who require a Vax Pass to access their location do not need to carry out contact tracing (collecting names and phone numbers of individuals accessing their location).
If you need more information or have questions about implementing the proof of vaccination requirement at your business, service or event, please call toll-free 1-833-533-9333 (select option 3, then option 1).
Resource and Reference Materials
Links to download print ready materials:
- Poster: Accepted Proof of Vaccination
- Poster: Proof of Vaccination Required
- Proof of Vaccination Required to Dine In
- Reference Guide: Samples of Canadian Proof of Vaccination Records (webpage)
- Reference Guide: Samples of Canadian Proof of Vaccination Records – PDF File
Businesses, services and events that do not comply with the Public Health Order may be issued a violation ticket.
Individual employees will not be fined for failing to check someone’s vaccine record. Owners, operators and event organizers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Public Health Order and may be issued a violation ticket for non-compliance.
Customers who refuse to show proof of vaccination
Businesses, services and events requiring proof of vaccination have the right to refuse service/entrance to anyone who is not abiding by the Public Health Order – in particular those who refuse to or cannot show proof they are fully vaccinated.
Incidents of non-compliance by a customer/patron can shared by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Vax Pass Business phone line toll-free 1-833-533-9333 (select option 3, then option 1). Your concerns will be reviewed by an inspector who will follow-up with that individual.
If any employee feels threatened, they should avoid confrontation and call 911 or local law enforcement.