Quebec, a province in Canada, will start taxing unvaccinated citizens in the coming weeks, announced Quebec premier Francois Legault.
Setting An Example
The province, like the rest of the world, is battling a renewed surge in coronavirus infections led by the omicron variant.
It will be the first in the nation to impose a monetary fine on the unvaccinated.
Legault said that the tax will serve as a “health contribution” from adults who refuse to get vaccinated.
He stressed that vaccines are the “key to fighting the virus.”
Those refusing to get the jab impose a “financial burden” on the city by “clogging” up hospitals.
Taking Up Hospital Beds
Quebec already has a high vaccination rate, with only 10% being the outlier in the population.
However, the unvaccinated minority account for 50% of people in intensive care.
Quantum Of The Tax
The amount to be paid is not yet decided, but is expected to be “significant”- at least 100 Canadian dollars (€70, $79.50).
Those having medical reasons for not getting a vaccine are exempted from the requirement.
In Crisis Mode
The province presently has the highest death toll in the country.
To tackle the situation, restrictions were imposed such as a 10 p.m. curfew and a ban on private gatherings.
Essential workers who tested positive have been asked to continue working to prevent staff shortages.
Greece To Tax The Unvaxxed
There are some precedents of punishing the unvaccinated around the world.
Greece has announced that starting Jan. 16, those over age 60 will have to pay a €100 fine for each month that they remain unvaccinated.
The move was justified as a measure to help fund an overburdened health system.
Singapore: “Pay For Your Stay”
Singapore has adopted a similar, but perhaps tougher approach, telling unvaccinated Covid patients to foot their own medical bills.
The country’s health department reasoned that a majority of those in intensive care are unvaccinated.
Thereby, they “disproportionately contribute to the strain” on the country’s healthcare resources.
Exemptions are allowed for those medically ineligible for vaccines.