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Cornwall Ontario — The Ontario government has released a Guide to support businesses and organizations in implementing proof of vaccination requirements, which take effect on September 22, 2021.

“High rates of vaccination against COVID-19 are critical to helping protect our communities and hospital capacity while keeping Ontario schools and businesses safely open,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue our last mile push to increase vaccination rates, requiring proof of immunization in select settings will encourage even more Ontarians to receive the vaccine and stop the spread of COVID-19. If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please sign up today.”

Download Your Vaccination Receipt

In advance of September 22, all Ontarians can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal. The Ministry is working on additional supports and services to assist Ontario residents who need help obtaining proof of vaccination, including requesting a copy be sent by mail. Those who need support obtaining a copy of their vaccination receipt including those who do not have access to a computer or printer can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

Ontario is developing an enhanced vaccine certificate with a unique QR code to make it safer, more secure and convenient to show that you have been vaccinated, when required to do so. The enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app will be available by October 22, 2021. Ontario’s proof of vaccination guidance will be updated to reflect the new processes.

Places Where Proof of Vaccination is Required

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons seeking access to the following areas of the premises of the following businesses or organizations must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the area, with limited exceptions:

  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces; including banquet halls, conference and convention centres
  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink (this applies to outdoor areas of establishments with dance facilities)
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including gyms, pools, sporting events and personal fitness training
  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other other similar venues
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
  • Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
  • Indoor areas where film and TV productions take place with studio audiences

The above regulations do not apply to businesses or organizations not listed above, including those that provide access to necessary medical care, groceries, and basic medical supplies. All other public health and workplace safety measures in remain in effect (including but not limited to capacity limits, patron screening, masking, physical distancing and collection of patron contact information where required).

Exemptions
There are limited instances where people will not be required to provide proof of identification and proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Those exemptions are summarized below, with more detailed info in the Guide. All other public health measures (e.g., masking and physical distancing) continue to be in effect.

  • Workers, volunteers or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons.
  • A patron who is entering an indoor area solely for the following purposes:
    • to use a washroom;
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor  route;
    • to make a retail purchase;
    • while placing or picking up an order;
    • while paying for an order;
    • to purchase admission; or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • Children under 12 years of age.
  • Patrons under 18 years of age who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport, including training, practices, games and competitions.
    • The exemption does not apply to youth who are spectators at sporting events. Nor does the exemption apply to youth who are using a gym or other area with exercise equipment or weights unless actively participating in an organized sport.
    • This exemption does not apply to people 18 years and older, including parents or guardians of youth actively participating in an organized sport.
    • Proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated is not required for workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials.
  • Patrons who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space, solely for the purposes of attending a wedding or funeral, but not an associated social gathering
  • Patrons who are entering the indoor premises of a place of worship or funeral establishment for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a funeral
  • Patrons who provide a written document, completed and supplied by a physician (designated as “MD”) or by a registered nurse stating that the individual is exempt for a medical reason from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the effective time-period for the medical reason. Patrons with a medical exemption are required to present identification and a written document stating the individual is exempt for a medical reason to the business or organization.

More detailed information regarding the above regulations and restrictions can be found in the following Guide:

The proof of vaccination policy has resulted in a marked increase in vaccination rates. Between September 1 and September 8, 2021, the seven-day average for first doses administered increased by more than 29 per cent, from over 11,400 doses to over 14,700 doses. During that time, more than 90,000 first doses and 102,000 second doses were administered in Ontario to individuals aged 18 to 59.

“Getting fully vaccinated is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and others,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “To provide the best protection to some of our more vulnerable populations, we are offering a third dose to additional groups of immunocompromised people who are more likely to have had a less than adequate immune response to the initial two dose COVID-19 vaccine series. I continue to strongly encourage anyone eligible who hasn’t already come forward to get their COVID-19 shot, to do so today to do their part to help keep themselves, their loved ones and our communities safe.”

Quick Facts

  • Those who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines and would like to speak to an experienced agent or health specialist are encouraged to call the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line that can be accessed through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre: 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007). The Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre is available in more than 300 languages, seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Ontarians who received their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine out of province should contact their local public health unit to have their information verified and recorded so they can receive an Ontario receipt that they can access or print from the provincial booking portal.
  • The province will continue to work with the federal government to ensure the integration and interoperability with a national vaccine passport for the purposes of international travel.
  • On July 16, 2021, the province moved into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are currently available at over 3,150 locations across the province, including more than 2,500 pharmacies and more than 1,000 currently operational mass immunization clinics, hospitals, primary care settings and pop up and mobile clinics.
  • A key component of Ontario’s last mile strategy is getting vaccines to people, wherever they are located. If you need your first or second shot, keep an eye out for the GO-VAXX mobile clinics.
  • Anyone with symptoms or who is a known close contact of someone with COVID-19, and other groups that meet provincial testing eligibility criteria, should make an appointment at an assessment centre, participating pharmacy or specimen collection centre. Please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest to find a testing location and for eligibility criteria to be tested.

Additional Resources

Post Author: Adam Gibeau