The much-talked-about and controversial COVID-19 vaccine passport is in effect.
The latest measure to slow the spread of the virus as the more contagious delta variant takes hold in Ontario starts today (Sept. 22).
People visiting certain high-risk public spaces now have to provide proof of being fully vaccinated. People are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
Proof of vaccination will not be required for medical care, buying food from grocery stores or accessing basic medical supplies.
Ontario chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore has said the proof of vaccination requirement is a temporary measure.
Here's what you need to know about the vaccine passport.
How to provide proof
To access the affected spaces, you'll need your COVID-19 vaccination receipt and a photo ID.
You can use either the printed or emailed receipt given to you after getting your second dose, or access it online to print or save to your mobile device. The online option works for people with a photo health card.
People with a red and white health card can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900 for a receipt.
Contact your local health unit if you don't have a health card or if you received one or both doses out of province.
Acceptable ID documents are a birth certificate, citizenship card, driver's licence, government-issued identification card, including a health card, Status Card or Indigenous membership card, passport, permanent resident card.
On Oct. 22 the government expects to roll out the digital vaccination certificate.
Where you'll need proof of vaccination
The places people will have to provide proof of vaccination are indoor areas of:
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Dining areas of restaurants and other food or drink establishments. But not for patios, delivery and takeout.
- Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, excluding takeout and delivery
- Gyms and facilities for sports/recreation activities, including personal training and town facilities
- Commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences
- Sporting events
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
- Horse racing tracks, car racing and other similar venues
- Meeting and event spaces such as banquet halls and convention centres
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
There are circumstances when unvaccinated people will be allowed access to one of the spaces requiring vaccines. These are:
- Someone entering an indoor area to:
- Use a washroom
- Pay for an order
- Access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route
- To place or pick up an order, including placing a bet or picking up winnings at a racing track
- Buy admission
- Make a retail purchase
- If it's necessary for the purposes of health and safety
- People attending a wedding or funeral service, rite or ceremony and not attending the reception in a meeting or event space. From Sept. 22 - Oct. 12, people attending wedding or funeral receptions at meeting or event space will be allowed to provide a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test. The test must be from no more than 48 hours before the event
- People with a written document from a nurse practitioner or doctor giving a medical reason for being exempt from being fully vaccinated. ID must be provided with this.
Businesses and organizations are responsible for making sure people meet the vaccination requirements.
Similar to other COVID-19 public health measures, these new requirements can be enforced by all provincial offence officers. These include bylaw officers, public health inspectors and regulatory officers from ministries and agencies.
People and businesses who don't comply with the new rules can be charged under the Reopening Ontario Act.
How to get vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are open to anyone who is turning 12 this year and older.