Beginning September 22, proof of vaccination will be required at many non-essential businesses in Ontario, including gyms and movie theaters, and will be required to dine indoors at restaurants as part of the new certificate program. province’s COVID-19 vaccine, government sources confirm to CTV News Toronto.
According to the sources, a vaccination certificate will not be required for retail purchases and outdoor dining, but those who intend to go to concerts or other large organized gatherings should be fully vaccinated.
The provincial government is working on an app that will combine both identification and a proof of vaccination certificate for immunized Ontarians, sources confirm, adding that the government intends to integrate this data into a personalized QR code, which will be ready in October. A separate app is in the works for businesses to verify the contents of the QR code, which will also be unveiled in October.
It is not clear whether the province plans to provide additional proof of vaccination to residents by September 22, when the policy comes into effect.
Premier Doug Ford will make an announcement at 1 p.m., along with Ontario’s Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Ford’s cabinet has met several times in recent days to work out the details of Ontario’s vaccination certificate program. Plans for vaccine passports have already been rolled out in several other Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba.
In British Columbia, residents must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access a number of non-essential parameters as of September 13 and two doses will be required as of October 24.
About 83 percent of Ontario residents aged 12 and older currently have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 76 are fully immune.
In the absence of government policy, several sports companies and organizations in Ontario, including the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, have decided to require customers to produce proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for access their facilities. .
Dr Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist, told CP24 on Wednesday that Ontario will likely see vaccination rates increase following the announcement.
“We’ll probably see a pretty reasonable increase in the number of people reserving their vaccines. We’ve seen that in France, we’ve seen that in Quebec, we’ve seen that in British Columbia, I think we’ll probably see the same in Ontario, ”he said.
“People who might have been sitting on the fence will say, ‘Wow, if I want to participate in non-essential activities, go to non-essential businesses, like restaurants, bars, concerts or whatever, I have need a vaccine, I’ll get one. ‘”
He noted that while vaccine passports are important, they are not “the solution to the pandemic”.
“It helps create a safer indoor space,” he said. “It’s not the only thing to do. It’s a major political decision that can be taken to keep the premises open.”
-With files from Colin D’Mello of CTV News Toronto