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.


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
  • Food courts
  • 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 and older must show identification and one of the following:

Proof of vaccination


Proof of vaccination

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

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: December 2, 2021

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 
Total tickets since bylaw implemented (Sept. 23)  5 16 13 34
Face Covering Bylaw enforcement
Date Ticket type - Failure to display signage Ticket type - Failure to wear a face covering where required    Total tickets 
Total tickets since bylaw implemented (Sept. 4, 2021)  4 131 135

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 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?

This bylaw does not apply to a restaurant that only offers take-out (including food trucks), delivery or drive-through services.

Any business offering any dine-in service must provide proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test or a medical exemption before allowing customers to enter their premises. This includes customers entering the business to collect take-out or dining on the restaurant patio.

Unvaccinated customers can, however, still do curbside pickup if offered.

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 to 17 are required to show proof of vaccination/negative test/medical exemption plus valid personal identification. This could be a birth certificate, health care card or passport, or other government-issued identification.

What is the requirement for children under 12 years old that are not eligible for vaccination?

There is no requirement for children under 12 years old.

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 in the Vaccine Passport Bylaw?

We’ve heard from sport, recreation and performance activities that allowing organizations the choice to take part in the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) or not has created a lack of consistency, leading to understandable confusion for participants unsure of which rules apply in which settings.

By making organizations choose whether they opt in or opt out, they are being forced to decide between the safety of youth and being the target of frustrated parents who don’t agree with the mandatory vaccination approach.

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

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 does require youth ages 12-17 who are participating in performance and recreation activity to be vaccinated. However, the bylaw does not specify the number of doses or the timeline, so once your child has turned 12 and has received their first vaccine dose, they are permitted to participate in performance or recreation activity.

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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