Sep 01, 2021
By Christine Ross
Ontario residents will need to be fully immunized against COVID-19 by September 22nd to enter some public settings considered high-risk such as restaurants, theatres, gyms and other venues.
Premier Doug Ford says he’s only agreed to a provincial certificate, because in his words, Justin Trudeau chose to go the polls rather than focus on a federal vaccine passports.
“This is something that I did not want to do, this is a serious step that we’re not taking lightly, and I know this is going to very difficult for some people and let me be very clear, this is a temporary tool that we won’t use for a day longer than we have to,” Ford told reporters.
Health Minister Christine Elliott explains how the system will work.
“Beginning September 22nd, individuals will be required to show their vaccine receipt at the entrance of certain settings along with photo ID, these receipts are currently available as PDF’s that can be downloaded or printed,” said Elliott. “Beginning October 22nd, we will introduce an enhanced vaccine certificate with a unique QR code that can be kept on your phone.”
Unvaccinated people with medical exemptions and children under 12 will not have to provide proof of vaccination.
But no one will be prevented from getting groceries or medical supplies based on vaccine status.
There’s also a long list of places where you won’t need to show proof; retail, barbers,salons and places of worship.
You will need to show proof to enter restaurants, gyms, meeting and event spaces, sporting events, casinos, bingo halls,
music festivals and concerts.
While patrons will have to show proof , Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore explains employees do not.
“A restaurant for example is that every worker should be screening for symptoms before they show up, they should get tested if they develop any symptoms and they should have the appropriate infection prevention and control systems to protect them.”
Premier Ford says the new vaccine passports will be enforced by by-law officers, and will rely on individuals and businesses “to do the right thing.”
Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath has reacted to the plan saying “it looks like this government is more interested in not offending anti-vaxers than it is in protecting Ontarians.”