By James Moon
Following Quebec’s vaccine-passport system that took effect on September 1, 2021 and Manitoba and B.C’s vaccine-passport system launching on September 3, 2021 and September 13, 2021 respectively, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has also announced his government’s new vaccine certification system.
Starting from September 22, 2021 proof of vaccination (paper or PDF receipt that were given when individuals received their shots) and photo ID must be shown to have access to many non-essential businesses including: casinos, nightclubs (including its outdoor sections), concerts, music festivals, movie theatres, gyms and indoor restaurants.
Some select non-essential businesses such as retail shopping, barbers and nail salons will be exempt from the new vaccine certification system. Additionally, the new vaccine certification system will not apply to workplaces and outdoor settings, including patios.
The Government of Ontario is working on launching a smartphone app that will combine photo ID and the proof of vaccination to be displayed in a personalized QR code on October 22, 2021. This will allow vaccinated individuals to use their smartphones to display their vaccine status without sharing any additional personal health information.
Individuals will also be able to print their personalized QR code and present it alongside government issued photo ID beginning October 22, 2021, ensuring that anyone who does not have access to a smartphone is still able to access non-essential services.
Ontario’s vaccine-passport system does not include an option for unvaccinated people to submit negative COVID-19 test results instead of providing proof of vaccination, but will allow for medical exemptions. The system is also not applicable to children under the age of 12.
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