vaccine passport Ontario

Here's the full list of places you will soon need an Ontario vaccine passport to enter

The latest Doug Ford announcement we've been all been waiting for has finally dropped, giving Ontario residents some long-desired and much-needed clarity about vaccine passports: They're happening.

The province will officially have its own proof-of-vaccination certificate passport program in place as of September 22, according to Ford, who appeared at his first press conference in more than a month on Wednesday afternoon at Queen's Park.

Coming into place three weeks from today, the "enhanced vaccine certificate" program will only apply to certain indoor spaces, have medical exemption provisions, and be enforced by bylaw officers and business owners, as opposed to police.

"As the world continues its fight against the Delta variant, our government will never waver in our commitment to do what's necessary to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses," said Ford when announcing the proof-of-vaccination program.

"Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns."

"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," announced the province in a release on Wednesday.

These spaces, all of them considered "high-risk" for the spread of COVID-19, are listed as follows:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

From a practical standpoint, people will initially need to show valid photo ID plus a paper or PDF vaccine receipt to enter restaurants, bars, casinos, strip clubs, nightclubs, sports facilities, event spaces and more.

The province is also planning to introduce a "digital vaccine receipt" featuring a QR code that can be used to prove one's vaccination status. It is scheduled to be live by 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," reads the government news release.

"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."

Kids under 11 who cannot be vaccinated will be exempt from the rules, and people with medical exemptions will still be permitted entry into spaces where vaccine passports are required "with a doctor's note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate."

The proof-of-vaccination certificates won't result in the lifting of any current Step 3 restrictions. Ford and all public health officials in the province and country continue to implore any unvaccinated individuals to get their shots in order for further reopening.

"We are already seeing a rise in the number of cases of COVD-19 as we head into the fall," said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore.

"As we enter the last mile push to increase vaccination rates, the introduction of a vaccine certificate is an important step to give people the tools to limit further spread of the virus so that we can ensure the safety of all Ontarians while keeping the province open and operational."

As of today, nearly 83.1 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received one dose of a Health Canada-approved vaccine. Roughly 76.4 per cent now have two doses.

Of the 339 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, only 36 are fully vaccinated. 

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario Photography



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