The Ontario government has announced it will be requiring COVID-19 vaccination certificates for several indoor public settings such as restaurants, gyms and nightclubs, marking a major reversal in policy for Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet.
Officials announced on Wednesday that as of Sept. 22, Ontario residents will need to show proof of full vaccination (having received two doses at least 14 days before entry) along with photo ID in order to access the following settings: Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, meeting and event spaces, gyms and fitness facilities (exception for youth recreational sports), sports events, casinos, gaming establishments, concerts, music festivals, theatres, cinemas, strip clubs, bathhouses, and racing venues.
As of Oct. 22, the Ontario government is scheduled to roll out a new QR code-based application for residents and business operators to use in order for scans. Officials said new certificates similar to the current PDF ones will be issued. The new documents will contain a unique QR code that when scanned will display the holder’s current vaccination status (yes or no) and the person’s name.
Although the enhanced certificate program covers various indoor settings, other ones with a high number of congregants such as churches or settings where there are extended stays such as hair salons were left out of the program. Regardless of vaccination status, people can’t be prevented from accessing necessary medical care, food at groceries stores, medical supplies or other essential items.
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