Ontario Reveals Details on Proof of Vaccination System

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The Ontario government has released regulations and guidance for businesses one week before COVID-19 vaccines become mandatory to enter some non-essential establishments.

As of Sept. 22, proof of vaccination status will be required to eat indoors at restaurants and bars, to enter a gym, movie theatre, sporting venue, or concert, and to use a large meeting and event space.

“High rates of vaccination against COVID-19 are critical to helping protect our communities and hospital capacity while keeping Ontario schools and businesses safely open,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in a statement. “As we continue our last mile push to increase vaccination rates, requiring proof of immunization in select settings will encourage even more Ontarians to receive the vaccine and stop the spread of COVID-19. If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please sign up today.”

In advance of September 22, all Ontarians can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal.

The Ministry is working on additional supports and services to assist Ontario residents who need help obtaining proof of vaccination, including requesting a copy be sent by mail.

Those who need support obtaining a copy of their vaccination receipt including those who do not have access to a computer or printer can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

 

Ontario is also developing an enhanced vaccine certificate with a unique QR code to make it safer, more secure, and convenient to show that you have been vaccinated when required to do so. The enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app will be available by October 22, 2021. Ontario’s proof of vaccination guidance will be updated to reflect the new processes.

 

“Businesses need a smart, quick, and safe solution to verify vaccination,” said Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government. “The made-in-Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate for the public and the verification app for businesses are tools to confirm that an individual has been vaccinated while protecting Ontarians’ health data.”

However, patrons don’t have to prove they’re fully immunized when they enter establishments to access an outdoor area, to place or pick up an order or to purchase admission.

Residents who are attending a wedding or funeral service and are not attending the associated social gathering are also exempted from showing proof of vaccination.

Exemptions are also given to those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and for children under 12 years old who are not currently eligible for a vaccine in the province. Children between ages 12 and 18 will also be allowed to enter indoor sports and recreation facilities without showing proof of vaccination but only “solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport.”

Individuals with a medical exemption must show identification and a written document by a physician or nurse practitioner.

Proof of vaccination will not be required at essential services, including workplaces, grocery stores, religious services, pharmacies, and banks.

“As we continue to see cases of COVID-19 in our communities, we must keep up the fight against the transmission of this virus and its variants to create a safer environment for ourselves, our families, and our communities,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “The best defense against COVID-19 is getting a vaccine and encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated too. Wearing a mask and practising physical distancing where possible are public health measures we all must continue to follow.”

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