TORONTO — Yesterday, the Ontario government unveiled its plan to introduce COVID-19 vaccine certificates. Starting Sept. 22, 2021, Ontario residents will need to show proof of full vaccination in order to access several recreational settings, including restaurants and bars, gyms, nightclubs, theatres, sports events, music festivals and more.
“After in-depth discussions with our medical experts, we’ve landed on a vaccine certificate policy that is based on evidence and the best advice,” said Premier Doug Ford at a press conference. “Vaccinations will be mandatory for certain indoor settings where the risk of transmission is highest because masks aren’t always worn.”
At first, fully vaccinated Ontarians will need their current receipt with a valid photo identification to enter these settings. Then, as of Oct. 22, 2021, the government will shift to certificates that include QR codes. The shift will also include the release of a verification app that can be used to validate the QR codes and provide an individual’s vaccination status.
“We need to protect our hospitals, we need to avoid lockdowns at all costs,” says Premier Doug Ford. “We want our kids in schools, and our businesses to stay open.”
“We need to be proactive to avoid re-active closures,” says Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Immunization is key to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our most vulnerable.”
The vaccine certificate system will not apply to essential retail, places of worship or personal care businesses.