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Ontario's new proof of vaccination rule to begin Wednesday

As of Wednesday, you’ll need to be ready to provide proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status in certain settings.

Residents can download their vaccine receipt from the provincial booking portal as a temporary proof until the province rolls out “an enhanced vaccine certificate with a unique QR code to make it safer, more secure and convenient to show that you have been vaccinated, when required to do so”.

If you want the details, the province announced the regulations and guidance for the new rule to help businesses implement it.

The new rule was announced at the start of this month, as the Ford government bowed to pressure for such a measure. It requires Ontario residents to have two doses if they want to access certain venues and events, such as the following:

  • 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).

According to an Ontario Government press release:

“This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn … These mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.”

After the proof-of-vaccine rule was announced, the province reported a large increase in the vaccination rate. In the first week of September the 7-day average for first doses increased by 29% from over 11,400 to over 14,700.