Updated September 24th.
Ontario is making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory to access certain non-essential activities like indoor dining at restaurants, gyms and movie theatres starting September 22nd.
Premier Doug Ford with Health Minister Christine Elliott and Ontario’s chief medical officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore made the announcement today.
Beginning Sept. 22, proof of vaccination will be needed for restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor settings where masks cannot be worn for the duration of the visit.
The government is developing an app like the Quebec Vaccine passport where you can show the vaccine status using QR code. The government is expecting the app to be ready by October 22nd.
Until the app is ready, those who want to use facilities where proof of vaccination is required can show the receipt issued when getting vaccinated or downloaded from the government website together with a piece of government identification, such as a driver’s licence.
List of Places Where Vaccine Certificate is Required:
As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:
- Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
- Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments
- Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
- Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions
- Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
- Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
- Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
- Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
- Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
- Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences.
- Outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more (announced on Sept 24th)
Places where vaccine proof is not required:
These mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios.
Vaccine proof is also not required where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.
Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.
- Patrons with a medical exemption will be permitted entry without proof of vaccination
- Children under 12 years old
- Youth under 18 years of age, and 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, in accordance with guidance published by the Ministry of Health on its website for the purposes of this provision;
- Patron is entering an indoor area solely
(a) to use a washroom;
(b) to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route;
(c) to make a retail purchase;
(d) while placing or picking up an order, including placing a bet or picking up winnings in the case of a horse racing track;
(e) while paying for an order;
(f) to purchase admission; or
(g) as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
- Those who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, solely for the purposes of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, but not an associated social gathering;
- Those who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space that is located in a place of worship or in a funeral establishment, cemetery, crematorium or similar establishment that provides funeral, cemetery or cremation services and that is operated by a person licensed under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony.
- Between September 22 and October 13, 2021, patrons may provide proof of a negative antigen test to attend an indoor social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony in certain meeting or event spaces.
How to show proof of Vaccination:
As of September 22, Ontarians will be required to show their vaccine receipt when entering designated settings along with another piece of photo identification, such as a driver’s licence or health card.
Individuals can provide proof of immunization by downloading or printing their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal, or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
For the period between September 22 and October 12, 2021, those who want to attend wedding or funeral receptions at meeting or event spaces will be able to provide a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test from no more than 48 hours before the event as an alternative to proof of vaccination. These rapid antigen tests would have to be privately purchased.
A vaccination receipt includes any of the following:
- An Ontario vaccination receipt from a vaccine clinic when you received your dose (paper copy)
- A vaccination receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider
- An Ontario Ministry of Health vaccination receipt received by email following your appointment (digital or printed paper copy)
- Downloaded vaccination receipt from Ontario’s provincial booking portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (digital or printed paper copy)
- A vaccination receipt from another jurisdiction that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Proof of Identification:
Individuals must provide proof of identification so that the business or organization can ensure the vaccination receipt belongs to the person. The person’s identification must be issued by an institution or public body and show the name of the identification holder and their date of birth. A photo identification is not required.
Identification documents that may be used as proof of identification include:
- Birth certificate
- Citizenship card
- Driver’s licence
- Government (Ontario or other) issued identification card, including health card
- Indian Status Card /Indigenous Membership Card
- Permanent Resident card.
Validation of identification is considered to have been completed/successful when the name and date of birth of the presenter of the vaccination receipt and the name and date of birth on the identification document match. If the name and date of birth on both documents do not match, the individual will not be allowed to enter the business or organization.
From October 22nd:
Ontario is planning to introduce an enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code beginning October 22.
This digital vaccine receipt can be kept on a phone and easily used to show that you’ve been vaccinated if you need to.
In addition, the province will launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting your privacy.
For those from other provinces:
Individuals visiting from outside the province or the country will be required to show their full vaccination status and identification to enter places requiring vaccine proof.