Ontario to require proof of vaccination in select settings
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As of Sep. 22, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof, along with photo ID, to access certain businesses, public settings and facilities.
The Ontario government will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting Sept. 22, 2021.
In a statement, provincial government officials said the decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and is aimed at confronting the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.
As of Sep. 22, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities, including:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
- Sporting events;
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
- Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).
According to the government, these mandatory requirements won’t apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.
Ontarians currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated, the government said, and as of Sept. 22 they’ll be required to show it when entering designated settings along with another piece of photo identification, such as a driver’s licence or health card.
The province also plans to introduce an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code, and which can be kept on a phone. “Ontario will develop and provide additional tools to improve user experience, efficiency and business supports in the coming weeks, including establishing alternative tools for people with no email, health card or ID,” officials added.
Individuals who can’t receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.