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Proof of vaccination will be required in Ontario by Sept. 22

Proof of vaccination will be needed for certain indoor settings where face coverings cannot always be worn – such as gyms, casinos, indoor restaurants, movie theatres, sporting events and concert halls – under Ontario’s new, temporary, vaccine certificate program announced today by premier Doug Ford.

“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,” said Premier Ford. “We want to avoid a lockdown at all costs. The Delta variant is here and is a real threat – especially for those unvaccinated.”

Ford noted this will be a temporary solution that will be lifted as soon as is possible.

The program starts Sept. 22. The certificate will not be required for retail shopping, banks, essestial services, workplaces or outdoor patios.
Requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.

The rules will not apply to children under age 12 and people with medical exemptions.

The vaccine certificate is to be used with government photo identification. The province is working on a smart phone app – a personalized QR code – that would combine ID and vaccine certification that users can show when asked for proof.

Individuals who cannot 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. A smart phone app for businesses to verify the personal QR codes is also expected to be ready in October.

Premier Ford made the announcement today with Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore.

It is hoped the announcement will spur an increase in vaccinations. As yet, about 83 per cent of residents over age 12 in Ontario have at least one dose; about 76 per cent are fully vaccinated.

In Hastings Prince Edward, 82 per cent have received one dose; 74 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Th vaccine certificate approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:
– 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).

“We know vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “To protect the health and well-being of Ontarians, our government will offer one more tool to encourage even more Ontarians to receive the vaccine and provide further protection to fully vaccinated Ontarians as they safely enjoy activities with their loved ones and support their local businesses.”

For the period between Sept. 22 and Oct. 12, 2021, it is intended that people attending wedding or funeral receptions at meeting or event spaces will be able to provide a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test from no more than 48 hours before the event as an alternative to proof of vaccination. These rapid antigen tests would have to be privately purchased.

Ontarians currently have access to a paper vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated. Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. The Prince Edward County Public Libraries can also assist residents to obtain these documents.

Click here to download your vaccination receipt 

“We are already seeing a rise in the number of cases of COVD-19 as we head into the fall,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “As we enter the last mile push to increase vaccination rates, the introduction of a vaccine certificate is an important step to give people the tools to limit further spread of the virus so that we can ensure the safety of all Ontarians while keeping the province open and operational.”

“Combining the use of a QR code with a trusted, made in Ontario verifier app will help support the province’s health measures,” said Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government. “These tools will provide a simpler, faster, and better way to prove vaccination status that is both convenient and secure – while also supporting businesses with an easy validation process.”

Filed Under: Local News

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