Quebec Will Impose ‘Significant’ Fine for People Who Refuse to Get COVID-19 Vaccine
Quebec plans to implement a "significant" fine for adults who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Quebec Premier François Legault made the announcement Tuesday (Jan. 11). He described the planned fine as a "healthcare contribution."
According to CTV News, the exact financial penalty has not yet been determined.
However, Legault said that amounts such as $50 or $100 would not be significant enough, implying the tax could be in the hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars range.
Legault also told the media that this new fine will apply to adults over the age of 18 who do not receive their first dose of the vaccine "in the next few weeks."
Unvaccinated citizens "will have a bill to pay because there are consequences on our healthcare network and it's not up to all Quebecers to pay for this," Legault told the press.
"It's a question of equity because right now, these people, they put a very important burden on our healthcare network," he added. "I think it's normal that the majority of the population is asking that there be a consequence."
The controversial tax will not apply to people who cannot receive the vaccine for legitimate medical reasons. Legault did not specify what will happen to those who seek a religious exemption from the vaccine.
Quebec is currently experiencing a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized. Some serious heart and cancer procedures have been postponed in select hospitals in the province due to the coronavirus' impact and strain on medical facilities.
Quebec also also mandated a curfew to help slow the spread of the virus. Citizens have been instructed to stay home between the hours of 10 PM to 5 AM. The curfew will be reevaluated on Jan. 17.
Canada isn't the only country that has imposed strict rules and legislation amid the ongoing pandemic.
Austria and Greece will be taking similar measures in the coming weeks. Austria will begin charging 3,600 euros (approximately $4,000) every three months to anyone over the age of 14 who remains unvaccinated. Greece will require those over the age of 60 to get vaccinated by Jan. 16 or face a fine of 100 euros (roughly $113) every month they remained unvaccinated.