vaccine passport ontario

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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