ontario vaccine passport

Ontario's vaccine passport program could eventually become voluntary

After all the plans and drama surrounding a vaccine passport in Ontario, there is now word that the whole thing might eventually be voluntary.

The vaccine certificate system has been in place since Sept. 22, despite Premier Doug Ford's original insistence that the province would not have a passport.

Those who disagreed with the proof-of-vaccination requirements were vocal — angry mobs descended on malls and stood their ground in Tim Hortons.

Still the province continued with plans and is about to release QR code vaccine passport app called Verify Ontario on Oct. 22. But Ontarians might not even need it for long.

Ontario's proof of vaccination requirements may eventually be downgraded to a voluntary program, CTV is reporting.

The change comes as the provincial government considers easing Ontario out of Step 3 restrictions.

A post-Step 3 strategy could include relaxing mandatory proof of vaccination rules, as long as the province's pandemic picture continues to improve, CTV reports.

"[We are] looking as possibly getting to a point where vaccine certificates won't be mandatory anymore," a source with knowledge of the plan told CTV.

While there is no timeline to implement that phase of the plan, the source added that the vaccine certificate program would still exist, only with voluntary participation.

Many people were shocked to learn of this plan and don't support a move away from vaccine passports.

"Why? One of the pieces that helped push Ontario to 81%+ fully vaccinated," wrote one person. "Ease the burden on restaurants, distancing removed. But keep proof of vaccination to maintain a safer environment."

Others said they were okay with phasing out vaccine passports, as long as it happens many months from now.

There has been no official word from the province on proof of vaccination rules or easing out of Step 3.

The government's website still indicates, as it did when the roadmap was released, that "the majority of public health measures in effect under Step 3 will be lifted" when we move on.

Premier Ford is expected to speak on Friday so hopefully, we will learn more soon.

Lead photo by

Briana-Lynn Brieiro

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