Ontario to require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, nightclubs and more

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Published September 1, 2021 at 2:10 pm

The Province has announced it will soon require residents to provide proof of vaccination before they can enter certain businesses and attend certain events.

As of September 22, all those who are eligible to be vaccinated will be required to provide proof they have been inoculated before they can enter certain public settings, including restaurants and bars, gyms, nightclubs, meeting spaces, sporting events, casinos, and strip clubs.

These requirements won’t be extended to outdoor settings, where the risk of transmitting the virus is significantly lower, with the exception of outdoor settings in nightclubs.

However, these requirements will not be implemented at places where people receive medical care, food (such as grocery stores), and medical supplies.

Additionally, while these policies will be in place for patrons visiting these establishments, they won’t be extended to staff—meaning, if these businesses want their staff who haven’t done so to get vaccinated, they will have to implement their own policies.

Those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons will be permitted entry into these premises by showing a doctor’s note, and children who are not eligible to get vaccinated will be exempt.

Initially, between September 22 and October 12, Ontarians will be required to provide a paper or PDF vaccine receipt as well as identification.

As of October 12, the Province intends to have implemented a digital format that will allow people to simply provide proof of vaccination by scanning a QR code.

Further, the Province is working on implementing additional tools for people who do not have an email address, health card, or identification.

The policy announced on Wednesday is the second iteration—the first, which was supposed to be announced on Tuesday (August 31), was not approved by Premier Doug Ford, who asked that certain amendments be made to it.

When asked why Ontario has waited so long to implement such a policy, in light of rising case counts and after other provinces, including Quebec and B.C., have already done so, Ford bluntly said it was because he didn’t want to do it at all.

“This is something I did not want to do,” he said in a press conference. “I wasn’t in favour of this.”

Despite his trepidation, however, Ford said the policy is necessary to keep schools open, and prevent another lockdown, but he intends for it to be temporary.

“We won’t use it for a day longer than we have to,” he said.

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