Passport Eats: Safer Places for Albertans to Eat During COVID
Update Feb 12 - Despite lots of traffic here over the week showing that people would like REP options, sign-ups have been very low. I don't hold that against any establishment as there are pros and cons to continuing with the REP. I reset the site from last September/October due to seeing many people asking for a list of places that would continue wiht the REP, but here we are without many places looking to announce if they are filling that niche. And that's okay! The site was well positioned if there was a movement to carry on with the REP and so I put in a little work to get it updated. I met some new people, got to work on a project for a little bit, and got to see that plenty of Albertans care about each other.
In order to reduce harassment of the establishments that did sign up (and myself), I'll leave the site open for now, but I'm going to remove the list and submissions for now. We'll see how things go over the next week or so, but the site has probably run it's course. Thanks to everyone that signed up, everyone that helped spread the word, and those that showed support.
I wish you all continued health.
Update: Feb 10
The REP is likely dead. MLA Jason Copping [spits on ground] just noted in his presser that the COVID QR Code Reader for Alberta is no longer available. This government is maliciously incompent.
Other provincial readers and general scanners should work as well. I'll try to source some reliable download links for both Apple and Android and get them posted here tonight.
COVID-19 has dragged on for more than two years and many Albertans have done everything they could to help end this pandemic by wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and following restrictions imposed by the Alberta Government. Due to an ill-advised "Best Summer Ever" campaign that Premier Kenney implemented so he could have some photo-ops while flipping pancakes at the stampede, Alberta is now in a bad state and has required the re-introduction of many restrictions. At least they have implemented some version of a vaccine passport (or immunization records as we called them until recently).
Announced on February 8, the REP program will be ceased by the Alberta government and restaurants will no longer be required to screen for vacination status before allowing in-person dining. The Premier in his remarks commented that restaurants may choose to continue with participation and so I have made revisions and will start a fresh list for those that wish to indicate their intent to continue with precautions.
There are no winners here. Not being signed up or not continuing with the REP doesn't make the establishment 'bad'. Business owners have to make the best choice for their livlihood, their staff, and their families. In the same vein, those choosing to continue with the program are doing the best thing for their businesses, employees, and families. This site simply aims to allow those who prefer caution to find each other.
Current regulations can be found here: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx
Federal Information is here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Need to get your passport? Go here: https://www.albertavaccinerecord.ca/
Need a verifier app for your business? These meet the Canadian Federal Standard:
Like the idea? Help spread the word:
Click below to share on social media and please ask your favourite
Alberta business owners to sign-up!
Some Thoughts on REP and COVID-19, and Government Mandates
Sign-ups this time around are pretty slow which is not terrribly surprising. Everyone is tired, some are scared of COVID, some are scared of anti-maskers and/or Anti-vaxxers.
My undestandings that have come this week from conversations with several restaurant owners:
- They'd love to be done with mandates and the REP but feel it's still too early.You can't just decide COVID is done and pretend variants aren't out there.
- They would have preferred to have had other restrictions removed (hours of operation, capacity limitations) while keeping the REP in place.
- They are worried that if they keep the REP, that they and their staff are in danger. Actual physical danger from people that believe in their freedom to remove all restrictions, but don't believe in the freedoms of those that wish to remain more cautious. And if it doesn't get physical, the mental toll that the constant harrassment takes only ads to the stress we are all feeling.
- They don't want more media coverage - they just want to keep their staff and patrons safe and stay in business and know there is a bed in a hospital should they need it in these trying times.
- Staff are worried about getting sick because not working means no income. Many hospitality jobs are not known for provinding extensive savings and so missing a week or two of work can include serious financial stress and a risk of houselessness.
- Many are worried that our numbers are going to increase and another round of harsh restrictions will be required causing more hardship than an easing but not complete removal of restrictions.
So, to all of those working in service industry jobs right now, I'd just like to say "thank you for all of your efforts and managing the ups and downs of the last two years". I honestly hope these latest changes are not the start of a major uptick in cases and that we're able to make our way to manageable hospital numbers soon so that we can all find a "normal" that works, and get back to socializing with friends and family without worry.
As for the site, there has been a very steady stream of traffic which tells me there is indeed demand for restaurants continuing to offer a REP experience. Hopefully, establishments will start to see some social proof that it's beneficial to offer the REP and things will grow as an offering until the hospital numbers are manageable. For now, the best bet is patronize the places that you did that handled the REP well while it was mandated and vocalize to them that you'd like them to continue. You can also tell them about this site and encourage them to sign up. You can also help them by leaving positive Google and Yelp reviews.
The Feb 2022 Onward List
Here is the list of Alberta businesses that have self-identified as continuing participation in the Vaccine Passport Program (aka the "Restrictions Exemption Program). Businesses should post clear signage on their entrances and may cease participation at any time (as "safe levels" for Alberta ICUs have not been defined here). Patrons should use this list as a guide but verify participation upon arrival.
As with any crowd-sourced information, information may or may not be complete and/or accurate and site users should independently validate details with each business they visit.
This site does not verify the claims of the businesses listed and relies on the honour system. Should you patronize a business listed and they fail to meet the options chosen here, please let me know on the About page and I'll follow up/remove/update the listing as I'm able. As always, your safety during this pandemic is your responsbility. Wear masks, stay socially distant, get vaccinated and thanks for caring about your fellow Albertans.