Not everyone is happy that Ontario's vaccine passport program is ending
Ontario Premier Doug Ford shocked the province on Monday morning, dropping the bombshell that most COVID-related public health restrictions will be rolled back, including the March 1 elimination of the vaccine passport system that has kept the unvaccinated out of bars, restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other businesses.
The announcement has been met with mixed reception, welcomed by the unvaxxed who have been under self-imposed exile from their favourite spots, and criticized by people who feel the move strips away a vital health safeguard in the name of jumpstarting the economy.
The digital vaccine passport system's final form with QR codes really didn't last long, and it seems it's now being shut down almost immediately after becoming fully operational.
So the timeline of Ontario’s vaccine passport is:— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) February 14, 2022
Summer: Premier drags feet
Sept 22: passport goes into effect, but QR code isn’t ready
Jan 4: QR codes become mandatory
Jan 5: Restaurants/bars/etc ordered to shut down
Jan 31: Things start to re-open
Mar 1: End of vaxx passports
A few voices claim that the Premier can't have it both ways, including one person suggesting that safely reopening our economy and eliminating the vaccine passport system are mutually exclusive ideas.
"...a plan to safely reopen our economy & remove Ontario's vaccine passport system."— Chris is 😷 💉💉💉 (@ChristyCeeCK) February 15, 2022
Note, too, that these two parts of his sentence don't really go together. I mean, c'mon, his next sentence says he is removing all capacity limits in most public venues on Thursday.
A move designed in part to bring business back to bars and restaurants is having the opposite effect with some diners who are nervous about their safety and the now very real prospect of being sat near or even next to an unvaccinated customer.
Ok Toronto Ontario lifting of passport vaccines, March 1st. A bit nervous about dinning in now, as I'm not sure who I'm sitting next to?— David Cohen (@DavidTo908) February 14, 2022
It's an especially worrying idea for immunocompromised or disabled persons who have, at least until now, enjoyed the peace of mind that their fellow patrons are inoculated against the virus. With no such protections in place, some of these diners say they won't be returning.
Doug Ford's plan to end the vaccine passport in #Ontario on March 1st is a nightmare for disabled folks, seniors & children.— Sarah Colero🥄 (@Sarah_Colero) February 14, 2022
The one thing that gives vulerable folks peace of mind so they may go in public places is being removed for the convenience of the privileged. #onpoli 1/ https://t.co/CgL2WzUqav
Having vaccinated and unvaccinated populations once again mingling poses concerns that the hospital system could once again be overburdened with a surge in case counts.
Completely crazy - hospital system hasn't shown that they're ready for that yet. It's too soon, and we're probably just going to be back into another lockdown shortly after because of it.— Jeff (@BeardedResister) February 15, 2022
Not everyone is complaining, though, and supporters of the ongoing "Freedom convoy" trucker protests across the province have been quick to call this a victory, despite Doug Ford insisting that the demonstrations and relaxing of restrictions are unrelated events.
Others seem to fall squarely in the middle on the issue, with one reacting simply that this was "a good compromise."
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