Quebec will tax the unvaccinated amid the omicron outbreak | News | DW

The province of Quebec, in eastern Canada, will impose a new health tax in the coming weeks on those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, Quebec Premier François Legault said on Tuesday.

“We are working on a health contribution for all adults who refuse to be vaccinated,” said Legault, adding that the vaccine is the “key to fighting the virus”.

Unvaccinated “clogged” hospitals

Legault said that the unvaccinated represent a “financial burden for all Quebecers” because they “clog” Quebec hospitals.

The amount of the fine has not yet been decided, but Legault clarified that it would be “significant” and that it would not be less than 100 Canadian dollars (70 €, 79.50 $).

He said those who are not medically vaccinated would be exempt from the penalty.

What is the coronavirus situation in Quebec?

Quebec has a high vaccination rate, with only 10% of the population not having been vaccinated.

The unvaccinated represented 50% of people in intensive care, according to the premier of Quebec.

90% of the Quebec population is vaccinated

Quebec is struggling to contain a new wave of infections caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus. On December 30, Quebec announced new restrictions, including a 10 p.m. curfew and a ban on private gatherings.

Quebec has also announced that it has no choice but to allow some essential workers to continue working even after testing positive for COVID-19 to avoid staff shortages.

2,742 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 255 people are in intensive care in Quebec. The province has 8 million inhabitants.

Quebec has the highest coronavirus death toll in all of Canada, at 12,028. The province reported 62 more deaths on Tuesday.

sdi / aw (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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