Ontario’s vaccine passport: Vaccine certification system goes into effect

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Ontario's vaccine passport: Vaccine certification system goes into effect
Ontario's vaccine passport: Vaccine certification system goes into effect

Ontario’s new vaccine certificate system is now in effect.

Residents will now be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter a number of businesses, including but not limited to indoor restaurants, nightclubs (outdoor and indoor), movie theatres, gyms and concert venues.

Upon entering a business that requires proof of vaccination, patrons will need to show proof of their second dose as well as government identification. Identification can include a birth certificate, citizenship card, driver’s license, Ontario health card, indigenous membership card, passport, or permanent residence card.

Doctors’ notes for medical exemptions will also be accepted. Children under 12 are exempt from the vaccine certificate system.

The new system does not apply to essential businesses and services like grocery stores or pharmacies.

People are able to print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal but the province says the site will be down for maintenance until Wednesday at 8 a.m.

Ontarians will need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated to access the following:

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 except for 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)

On Oct. 22, the province aims to launch a QR code and verification app for businesses to streamline the process.

The government says it’s still targeting that date and confirmed it has a working prototype. Officials confirmed recently it’s building the app in-house instead of bringing in existing technology from another province like Quebec, which already has a QR code read in use.

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