The habit was well established when going in to restaurants, movie theatres, bars and other public places: take out your phone and show proof of vaccination.

However, as of Saturday, it will no longer be necessary to show a vaccination passport in Quebec to enter places that were covered by this measure since Sept. 1.

Quebec's public health authority believes that the vaccine passport has proven to be a valuable tool to encourage vaccination and to protect the population by reducing the risk of COVID-19 contagion.

In its Feb. 14 recommendations, public health notes, however, that two million Quebecers have been in contact with the virus, and that "these people, whether vaccinated or not, have an extremely low risk of being contagious after their illness and/or of being recontaminated by the same virus."

Also, the risk of contagion is not at the same level as it was with the Delta variant, which was widely prevalent when the vaccine passport was implemented, public health points out.

In addition to abandoning the vaccine passport policy in public places, the majority of the restrictions related to COVID-19 have been lifted.

As of Saturday, all public places in Quebec can increase their capacity to 100 per cent. In addition, there will be no capacity limit per table in restaurants, bars, taverns and casinos and these establishments will all be able to return to their normal hours of operation.

Dancing and karaoke will also return.

There will be no restrictions on the number of participants for social activities in a rented room.

The visitor's register in private seniors' residences will be removed.

Also as of Saturday, "contact cases" will no longer need to be isolated.

However, it won't be until mid-April at the latest that the requirement to wear a mask in all public places, excluding public transportation, will be lifted. The mandate to wear a mask on public transit will come "at the earliest in May."

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 11, 2022.