ontario chamber of commerce

Here are the new guidelines for businesses in Ontario to ask for proof of vaccination

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in the absence of any direct leadership from the provincial government as far as vaccine passports are concerned, has just provided local businesses with a framework to help them develop their own policies as we push through the fourth wave of COVID-19.

The organization is among those that have been advocating for Premier Doug Ford and his team to create some type of system for businesses and workplaces to ensure guests and employees are fully vaxxed, if they so choose.

A handful of restaurants, sports teams and event organizers have created their own rules on the subject, and on Tuesday, the Chamber released some guidelines that can be cohesively applied across hospitality, events and other industries.

"We have said from the beginning that we support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use. So... we’ve innovated and advanced a common framework for our Ontario business community," the Chamber wrote in a release yesterday.

"We hope these principles can avoid a piecemeal approach in the province."

The five Vax-Pass Tenets aim to prevent further lockdowns and keep businesses open by limiting customers to only those who are double dosed.

They are:

  1. Safety — businesses have an obligation to "take all reasonable steps necessary under the circumstances to protect the health and safety" of all those present and involved in their business
  2. Science — businesses acknowledge that requiring proof of vaccination is "consistent with the current science on COVID-19 and recommended public health best practices"
  3. Accommodation — businesses must avoid causing "undue hardship" under the Ontario Human Rights Code where it is applicable
  4.  Privacy — businesses should use "the least intrusive mechanism" possible to check vaccination status and keep in mind privacy laws and guidance from experts
  5. Transparency — businesses should try to "engage in clear and ongoing dialogue" on the topic with both staff and customers, including expressing reasons for supporting the province's vaccination program

"As more businesses proclaim and adopt these community standards, we will dispel harmful disinformation about the legality and efficacy of well-designed vax-pass programs and create shared confidence that we are on the right path to a safe economic and societal recovery," the Chamber adds in its statement this week.

Whether business owners will continue to be harassed for supporting and employing such policies will remain to be seen.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Stock T.C


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