Proof of Vaccination Will Be Required at Ontario Venues and Theatres

The new vaccine certification program is set to begin on September 22
Proof of Vaccination Will Be Required at Ontario Venues and Theatres
Photo: Rick Clifford
Proof of vaccination will reportedly soon be needed at movie theatres, concert venues, indoor restaurants, gyms, banquet and meeting halls in Ontario, as per a report by CTV News Toronto.

The rules do not apply to the employees of the facilities covered, and immunization status will not need to be proven for outdoor dining, retail shopping or places of worship. 

UPDATE (09/01, 1:30 p.m. ET): Premier Doug Ford appeared before the media for the first time in over a month alongside Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore and Minister of Health Christine Elliott to address the matter. Ford confirmed the province's plan to implement vaccine certificates for non-essential businesses.

Individuals who have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible for the certificate two weeks out from their last shot. Proof of vaccination will be required at "higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn." See the full list of affected businesses here

The province's new vaccine certification program will begin on September 22, at first using the existing printed or emailed receipts received upon vaccination. A vaccine certificate would be used alongside a government-issued ID.

The province is developing an app that will combine the two — identification and vaccine certification — which users will be able to show when asked for proof, embedded in a personalized QR code. This is expected to launch on October 22, and will also be available for use by businesses not included in the mandate.

There is also no option for unvaccinated people to submit a negative COVID-19 test result instead of the certificate, but the system will allow for medical exemptions. Children under 12 are also exempt, as are youth sports leagues.

Further, there's a time-limited exception in place from September 22 to October 12, allowing for those attending pre-planned events at the facilities covered to continue to rely on negative test results instead of vaccination certification.

As The Globe and Mail reports, failure to comply with the new provincial system could result in fines — ranging from $750 for an individual to over $1,000 for a corporation.

Plans for vaccine "passports" have already been rolled out in other provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec, which is set to introduce its program today.