WINNIPEG - The province is responding to stories of people using fake QR codes meant to show they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as relaxed public health orders allow Manitobans to head back to restaurants and bars.
Winnipeg restaurant owner Jay Kilgour says when four would-be customers visited Irish pub Fionn MacCool’s this weekend, two of them had QR codes that registered the same names when they were scanned. It appeared they were doctored screenshots of digital vaccination cards issued to someone else.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Atwal says he’s aware of one case of attempted use of bogus QR codes, but couldn’t speculate about how prevalent it is. But Atwal says the province will need to investigate further, and officials will be meeting to determine what needs to be done.
Digital and physical immunization cards contain a personalized QR code, similar to bar codes used in retail, along with the cardholder’s full name. An Immunization Verifier app can then be used by those required to enforce public health orders, which displays the person’s name and confirms the code matches info in a provincial database. The province recommends that businesses request photo ID to make sure it matches the name displayed in the app.
Current public health orders require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to eat at restaurants with people from separate households, as well as for entry into art galleries, bingo halls, casinos, cinemas, concert halls, and museums, and, for visitors, personal care homes and hospitals.