The Government of Ontario this week provided an update on their plans to require proof of vaccination to allow access to specific businesses beginning on September 22, including exemptions for individuals that are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Under the system, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain settings, with a focus on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn.
Proof of vaccination requirements will not apply to settings where individuals will receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies, and the like. Aligning with public health measures, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place. A list of qualifying public settings, exemptions and additional Q&A’s about the policy can be accessed here.
There are also specific situations where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals are exempt, or where proof of vaccination is not required, including: to use a washroom; to pay for an order; to place or pickup an order; and to make a retail purchase.
A description of what the Government of Ontario considers fully a vaccinated individual can be found in the province’s proof of vaccination guidance document.
Truck drivers and other individuals travelling from out-of-province can meet Ontario’s proof of vaccination policy by having a vaccination receipt from their home jurisdiction (paper or digital copy), along with a valid piece of identification such as a driver’s licence, health card, passport or other government issued documentation.
Ontarians who received their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine out of province should contact their local public health unit to record their information and receive proper documentation. Both proof of identity along with proof of vaccination will be required.
Vaccine receipts are available in PDF form to be printed or downloaded to your computer, phone or tablet. 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.
Beginning October 22, Ontario will also introduce an optional enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code, which is safe, more secure and with you wherever you go. This digital vaccine receipt can be kept on a phone and easily used to show that you’ve been vaccinated if you need to.
The province will launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting your privacy. An enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code will be available.
OTA will provide more information on these ongoing developments as more information becomes available.
The full Government of Ontario press release and detailed regulations are also available for further information.