Albertans can add a QR code to their vaccine record, but it doesn't work yet

The provincial government has taken steps to improve the ability for Albertans to access their proof of vaccination against COVID-19, but there are still a few kinks to work out.

According to details on its website, residents can now add a QR code to their vaccine record.

A simple scan of the code at businesses and the entrance to events is expected to give organizers all they need to know to prove that the guest is fully vaccinated.

At least, that's the plan, officials say.

"The QR code cannot be scanned until the AB COVID Records Verifier app is launched," reads an online statement.

There is no timeline on when the scanner will be available for download.

GOVERNMENT SEEKS APPROVAL

The Alberta government says its AB COVID Records Verifier app needs to pass approval in a number of app stores before it can be downloaded and utilized by the public.

Until that time, the government says there are many different ways Albertans can prove they've been vaccinated.

"Albertans can continue to use any existing valid form of proof of vaccination, including their paper record from a vaccination provider or a download, screenshot, or printed copy of their proof of vaccination from Alberta.ca/CovidRecords or MyHealthRecords," said Amanda Krumins, assistant communications director with Alberta Health in an email to CTV News.

Officials assure Albertans the QR code does not contain any personal information.

Anyone experiencing issues can go to the government's website for help.

ENFORCEMENT

In the meantime, as they await the QR code, local business are enforcing the passport requirements with various degrees of success.

WinSport now has security guards manning each entrance.

Anyone coming inside must show identification and proof of innoculation.

"We've done some training sessions with some of the groups and we've brought in some extra people to work with the team," said Dale Oviatt. "We want to make sure they are well supported because we know some people don't agree with what's going on."

Oviatt said for the most part, the public has been co-operative with the rules, and that's allowed activities and events to continue at the venue.

He added that WinSport staff will adapt once the QR code is implemented.

"That'll be a learning curve as well," he said. "What we've got now, with our staff manually checking is working - there hasn't been any issues, it's a positive. We don't know what the next step will be but we'll go with the flow."

The transition hasn't been as smooth in the funeral industry.

"It's difficult to communicate the message to families that they need to bring confirmation of vaccination or a negative test, especially when we are not able to speak to everyone coming in for a funeral," said Jeff Hagel with McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, "We have people coming from across Canada , they're not familiar with Alberta's restrictions."

McInnis & Holloway has hired commissionaires to monitor passport compliance in their venues, saying staff didn't feel comfortable taking that responsibility on.

"That's not in our make-up, telling someone 'no'", said Hagel. "We do not want to turn away a mother, a brother, a nephew, a cousin or a friend at the door."

Hagel said they are also ordering rapid COVID-19 tests that can be used for attendees who not have proof of vaccination.

The province said its COVID-19 Records Verifier App , which is needed to work with the QR code's, will be launched in coming weeks, after app stores sign off on it.