Ontario Moving on an Enhanced Vaccine Certificate

By: Laura Steiner
Ontario is introducing an enhanced vaccine certification beginning September 22, 2021.  The announcement was made earlier today by Premier Doug Ford, and Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of the virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns,” Ford said.  A full vaccine is considered having two full doses of a Health-Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine plus a wait of 14 days after the second.
Certificates will be required to access the following facilities:

  • Restaurants and bars; excluding outdoor patios, delivery services, and takeout
  • Nightclubs; excluding outdoor areas
  • Fitness & sports facilities such as: gyms, fitness and recreational facilities.  Exception: 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 (horse racing)

Between September 22 and October 12, 2021 the certificates will consist of the vaccine receipts  given out after appointments, and a valid piece of photo idea.   “Combining the use of a QR code with a trusted, made in Ontario verifier app will help support the province’s health measures,” Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed said. After  the October 12, the province hopes to have an app complete with a QR code to make it easier for businesses to check on vaccination status.
The announcement comes on the same day the Ontario Science Table releases new data saying the province is in a fourth wave fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.  If the province continues on its current trajectory we could reach 4,000/day within the next month.  A more positive picture takes into account decreased transmission could see as little as 500 cases/ day.   “We are already seeing a rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 as we head into the fall.  As we enter the last mile push to increase vaccination rates, the introduction of a vaccine certificate is an important first step to give people the tools to limit the further spread of the virus so that we can ensure the safety of all Ontarians while keeping the province open and operational,” Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said.
For more information on the new certificate visit the list of Frequently Asked Questions here