Caution | Covid-19

The Municipal Emergency Plan remains activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wear a mask and get vaccinated.

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COVID-19 – Vaccine Passport Bylaw

The City of Calgary Vaccine Passport Bylaw 65M2021 requires many businesses and organizations to require proof of vaccination, recent negative COVID-19 test, or valid medical exemption letter to gain entry.

Please be kind to all staff and business owners as they help ensure our safety.

View The City bylaw library for current and previous versions of bylaws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Where this bylaw applies

The following businesses, entities and events must require proof of vaccination, negative test result or a medical exemption letter:

Businesses

  • Restaurants, including patios
  • Nightclubs
  • Casinos, Bingo halls, VLT lounges
  • Entertainment and recreation centres, such as bowling, racing entertainment, arcades, billiards halls and other similar entertainment establishments
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Movie theatres

Events

  • Professional sporting or other performance events (spectators)
  • Conferences, meeting spaces, halls and rented spaces
  • Weddings and funerals held in public facilities where the facility maintains responsibility for adherence to these requirements
  • Private social events held in public facilities where the facility maintains responsibility for adherence to these requirements

Recreation and fitness

  • Recreation and fitness facilities
  • Adult and youth (12-17) recreational sport groups (players and participants)

 

Businesses and services not included

  • Events in private dwellings
  • Curbside pickup, drive-through, food trucks and restaurants where there are no dine-in options
  • Retail and shopping malls
  • Libraries
  • Workers and employees in/on a worksite for the purposes of their employment
  • Schools (Kindergarten to Grade 12)
  • School curriculum-based activities
  • Accommodations (e.g., hotel rooms)
  • Places of worship for faith-based services
  • Health Services
  • Personal services
  • Wellness services
  • Publicly-funded post secondary institutions, including cafeterias and residence common areas
  • First Nations college entities

For business owners

Businesses or facilities impacted by this bylaw are required to display signage. Get resources for your business. 

What you need to show

Any person aged 12 years plus 10 weeks and older must show one of the following:

Proof of vaccination


Proof of vaccination

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people ages 12 plus 10 weeks and older must be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days from second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or a single dose of Janssen).

The Alberta vaccine record with QR code (paper or digital) is now the only valid Alberta-issued proof of vaccination accepted.

Other accepted forms of vaccination include:

  • A First Nation vaccine record
  • Another provincial or territorial vaccine record
  • Canadian Armed Forces vaccine record
  • ArriveCan app and valid international travel identity document

You can print your own card online or get one printed for free at a Registry Agent, Calgary Public Libraries and The Kerby Centre.

Proof of negative test


Proof of negative test result

You can show a negative COVID-19 test result. Tests must be:

  • Provided as an original or printed copy (photos are not sufficient)
  • Privately-paid
  • A Health Canada approved rapid antigen, rapid PCR or lab-based PCR test
  • Completed within the past 72 hours

A self-test completed offsite (including free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit for at-home use) cannot be used for the Restrictions Exemption Program. Unvaccinated people must pay to obtain proof of negative test result through a private vendor or pharmacy to gain admission.

Test results must show the type of test, time of sample collection, clear indication of a negative result, and laboratory that completed the test.

Tests must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Medical Exemption


Medical exemption from vaccine letter

You must show an original, signed letter from a physician or nurse practitioner that includes:

  • Your name that matches your identification (only required for adults 18 and over)
  • Physician’s or nurse practitioner’s complete information, including their name, phone number, contact information, professional registration number and signature
  • A statement that there is a medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • The duration that the exemption is valid

Accepted forms of personal identification

  • Birth certificate issued by a government of a province of Canada
  • Citizenship card
  • Driver’s licence issued by a government of a province of Canada 
  • Government (Alberta or other) issued identification card, including health card
  • Certificate of Indian status
  • Métis Nation of Alberta Association citizenship and identification card
  • Inuit Status card
  • Passport attesting to citizenship or other national status, issued by a government of any jurisdiction 
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Any other form of identification recognized by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health

Penalties

Failure to provide proof of vaccination can result in a penalty of $500. 

Failure by a business to display the required signage can result in a penalty of $200 and permitting a person to enter without proof of vaccine can result in a penalty of $500. 

Subsequent offences within a 12-month period will result in higher penalties.

Providing false vaccine records will be investigated by the Calgary Police Service as a Criminal Code offence. Complains of fraudulent vaccine records can be reported to the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Enforcement updates

City of Calgary peace officers and the Calgary Police Service continue to work together, along with Alberta Health Services, to ensure enforcement of all bylaws and public health orders.

Last updated: January 20, 2022

Vaccine Passport Bylaw enforcement
Date Ticket type – Failure to show proof of vaccination  Ticket type – Permit person to enter without proof of vaccine   Ticket type – Failure to display signage Total tickets 
Jan 12-18 0 1 1 2
Total tickets since bylaw implemented (Sept. 23) 6 18 14 38
Face Covering Bylaw enforcement
Week ending (date) Ticket type - Failure to display signage Ticket type - Failure to wear a face covering where required    Total tickets 
Jan 12 - 18 0 18 18
Total tickets since bylaw implemented (Sept. 23) 4 181 185

Questions and answers

About the bylaw

Why is The City of Calgary implementing this bylaw?

The Vaccine Passport Bylaw is intended to ensure consistency for both businesses and patrons, to make vaccine verification easier to understand, and to protect the safety of all Calgarians. 

What we’ve heard from a number of local business owners and organizations is that allowing businesses the option to take part in the provincial Restriction Exemption Program (REP) has created two primary challenges:

  • A lack of consistency across several sectors, which could lead to understandable confusion for customers or patrons unsure of which rules apply in which settings.

  • A downloading of responsibility, and consequently customer’s frustration, onto individual businesses. By making businesses choose whether they opt in or opt out, they are being forced to decide between the safety of their clients and being the target of frustrated customers who don’t agree with the mandatory vaccination approach.

City community peace officers currently do not have the authority to enforce the Provincial Health Orders; the bylaw provides the ability for community peace officers to issue fines under the bylaw to both businesses and patrons for non-compliance.

How does the Vaccine Passport Bylaw differ from the Province’s Restriction Exemption Program (REP)?

The Vaccine Passport Bylaw makes it mandatory for all eligible businesses to implement the REP. In scope businesses and organizations cannot choose to opt out of the REP. The bylaw requires youth aged 12 years plus 10 weeks old -17 years old to provide proof of vaccination to participate in sporting or performance activities.

The bylaw also permits The City’s community peace officers to enforce the bylaw to support compliance.

What are the criteria for repealing this policy?

The bylaw will be repealed in alignment with the Government of Alberta repealing the Restriction Exemption Program (REP).

Do I still need to wear a face covering if I am double vaccinated?

Yes, regardless of vaccination status, everyone must comply with The Pandemic Face Covering Bylaw 63M2021, which requires  to wear a face covering or mask in indoor public spaces, with some exceptions, including: 

  • People who are eating or drinking at a public premise that offers food or beverage services 
  • People engaging in an athletic or fitness activities 

I was denied a service for not being double vaccinated and I have a medical exemption. What can I do?

While businesses are free to set their own policies, they are required to adhere to municipal, provincial and federal laws. Should there be a concern over a violation of the Alberta Human Rights Act the Alberta Human Rights Commission could be contacted for further information.

Are business owners and employees required to show proof of vaccination?

At this time, the bylaw doesn’t cover owners or employees as it involves conditions of employment. Businesses are free to make their own employment policies as long as they comply with human rights legislation.

If I am unvaccinated, can I go into a restaurant to pick up a takeout order?

Yes.

I have a religious belief that prevents me from being vaccinated. How is this recognized under the Vaccine Passport Bylaw?

Those that cannot be vaccinated due to a religious belief are able to comply with the Vaccine Passport Bylaw by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from a sample that is taken within the prior 72 hours.

Proof of negative test result must be:

  • Provided as an original or printed copy (photos are not sufficient)
  • Privately-paid
  • A Health Canada approved rapid antigen, rapid PCR or lab-based PCR test
  • Completed within the past 72 hours

Test results must show the type of test, time of sample collection, clear indication of a negative result, and laboratory that completed the test.

Children and youth

What is the requirement for youth aged 12 to 17?

In alignment with the provincial Restriction Exemption Program (REP), youth aged 12 years plus 10 weeks to 17 years are required to show proof of vaccination/negative test/medical exemption.

What is the requirement for children aged under 12 years plus 10 weeks old?

There is no requirement for children aged under 12 years plus 10 weeks old.

What is the requirement for caregivers of exempt patrons?

Being a caregiver of an exempt individual does not afford the caregiver exemption. The caregiver must meet the requirements of the Vaccine Passport Bylaw themselves.

Recreation Facilities, Performances & Sporting Events

Adults Q & A

What if I have my first dose but my program starts before I can get my second dose? Can I still attend the program? Can I begin attending a series of programs halfway through after getting my second dose?

To enter spaces participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, people ages 12 plus 10 weeks and older must be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days from the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or a single dose of Janssen) or provide proof of a negative test/exemption letter

The Bylaw was recently revised to provide an additional 10 weeks after a child’s 12th birthday to allow time for full vaccination to take place.

As per the Restrictions Exemption Program, people that are unvaccinated may still participate in City recreation programs if they provide proof of a negative test or exemption letter.

Do spectators at an outdoor stadium be required to be vaccinated under the bylaw?

Spectators at an outdoor stadium are required to be vaccinated as an outdoor stadium is a recreation facility for physical activity, performance activity, or recreational activity.

Alternatively, they may provide proof of negative test result from the past 72 hours or a medical exemption letter.

Are gym facilities in condo buildings in scope for the Vaccine Passport Bylaw?

These facilities are in-scope for the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program, but not the Vaccine Passport Bylaw.

Condo buildings should comply with the requirements of the Provincial Health Orders.

Children Q & A

My child has just turned 12 years old and has received their first vaccine dose. Can they participate in performance or recreation activities now, or are they required to wait until they have had both doses of the vaccine?

The Vaccine Passport Bylaw requires youth aged 12 years plus 10 week -17 years old, who are participating in performance and recreation activity, to be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days from second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or a single dose of Janssen).

As per the Restrictions Exemption Program, people that are unvaccinated may still participate in City recreation programs if they provide proof of negative test result from the past 72 hours or a medical exemption letter.

My child turns 12 halfway through their program. Do they have to get vaccinated immediately in order to continue attending the program?

The Vaccine Passport Bylaw does require youth ages 12 years plus 10 weeks and older who are participating in performance and recreation activity to be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days from the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or a single dose of Janssen).

As per the Provincial website, everyone born in 2009 or before (turning 12+) can get their first and second doses now.  If you have questions about your children’s eligibility, please call 811. Alternately, facility users 12 plus 10 weeks and older may provide proof of negative test result from the past 72 hours or a medical exemption letter.

The City of Calgary encourages all facility admission, registered program, and user group members to get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid any interruption to their recreation activities. 

The Alberta government has decided against requiring proof of vaccination for youth under age 18 who are taking part in sport, recreation and performance activities; why has The City of Calgary mandated this requirement for children aged 12 years plus 10 weeks to 17 years old in the Vaccine Passport Bylaw?

Administration has heard from operators of recreational facilities regarding the importance of maintaining this requirement in the bylaw. Recreation facilities across Calgary have based their offerings on this requirement and have seen attendance increase as a result.

The bylaw mandate of vaccine requirements for these activities creates a consistent and safe approach for those participating in sport, recreation, and performance activities.

City owned and operated recreation facilities and programming

I am a City recreation passholder or I have registered for a City recreation program but I am unvaccinated. Can I still attend? Will I get a refund?

As per the Restrictions Exemption Program, people that are unvaccinated may still participate in City recreation programs if they provide proof of a negative test or medical exemption letter.

City of Calgary customers who are unable to access City-operated recreation facilities and programs as a result of the Restrictions Exemption Program or municipal bylaw will be offered pro-rated refunds on monthly passes and registered programs.

Please contact liveandplay@calgary.ca to cancel a pass or program registration.

Will proof of vaccination affect City-operated outdoor programming? Do restrictions apply to outdoor activities?

No. The new bylaw does not apply to outdoor Recreation facilities or programs. Participants in outdoor programming still need to maintain physical distancing, and use a face covering when using indoor amenities like washrooms and change rooms.

I’m fully vaccinated. Do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes. There is both a provincial masking order and a municipal bylaw requiring the use of masks in indoor public spaces.

Is Calgary Recreation doing contact tracing? are they notifying close contacts in the event there is a positive case?

No. In the absence of a provincial system at this time, The City of Calgary is not currently conducting contract tracing at its City-operated recreation facilities.

Will employees working at City-operated recreation facilities be required to be vaccinated?

The City is committed to taking every reasonable precaution to provide a healthy and safe workplace to protect our employees and the citizens who access our services.

Under the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, all City employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine and provide proof of vaccination. 

Employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to participate in the Rapid Testing Program. You can learn more about The City’s Vaccination Policy here.

Enforcement

Who is responsible for enforcement?

The City’s community peace officers and police officers will be using a coordinated enforcement approach to respond to reported complaints regarding the Vaccine Passport Bylaw, working with Alberta Health Services when required.

Reporting violations or fraud

Reports of businesses that are not posting the required signage or not asking for proof of vaccination, as well as reports of patrons that are not providing proof of vaccination can be reported to 311.

Reports of providing false vaccine records will be investigated by the Calgary Police Service as a Criminal Code offence. Complains of fraudulent vaccine records can be reported to the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

What should a business do if they suspect a patron is presenting invalid or forged proof of vaccination?

Invalid or forged proof of vaccination is considered fraud. If you suspect this, please call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

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