The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce says a recent survey of members shows there are a lot of questions surrounding the implementation of the P.E.I. Vax Pass.
P.E.I.'s pass is supposed to start out on paper Oct. 5, but eventually it will be available on cellphones, with a QR code that can be scanned to confirm your vaccination status.
The confirmation will be required to eat at a restaurant, shop for non-essential goods or attend a wedding dinner or funeral reception.
Vaccine passports difficult, but better than closing, say restaurants
CEO Robert Godfrey says the chamber of commerce received more than 300 responses to a survey sent out last week. Many said they support the vax pass, but need more details.
He said Monday that discussions with government are taking place.
"So what are essential businesses versus non-essential businesses? Who needs the actual vaccine passport to begin with? How we staff it, I mean, we've seen instances across this country and even here in the Charlottetown Airport, where people are fairly principled about not wanting to share that kind of information. So, do we have staff that are available to do this correctly?
"And who pays, ultimately, for the technology? So there is some confusion. I think it's just a matter of we need more information and October 5th is coming quick."
The vax pass will eventually be implemented as a QR code on cellphones. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)
Liberal economic growth critic Hal Perry said businesses have had to pivot several times during the pandemic, and they deserve and need more clarity from the King government — especially around enforcement.
"It's a common theme I've been hearing from business owners. Some of them have staff as young as 16 years old. They're really concerned by how those 16 year olds might be intimidated by older individuals, you know, who are non-compliant, or even have a bit of a confrontation."
Gym owner welcomes new policy
Chris MacPhee, co-owner of the Atlantic Fitness Centre, said he welcomes the new policy.
He's hoping it will allow for more fitness classes and a return to something closer to the way things were before the pandemic.
"If this is what it takes for us and other local small businesses to keep an operation, then I'm all for it. And then to be rest assured that everybody in the facility as well is double vaccinated," he said.
"That's a little bit more peace of mind as well."