Premier Doug Ford – Calling on Federal Government to Take the Lead on Vaccine Policy

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Premier Ford

TORONTO – LETTERS – The other Premiers and I have been calling on the federal government to take the lead on a vaccine passport policy. A national system as opposed to a patchwork of certificates across the country. It has chosen instead to focus on an election.

In the absence of a federal system, our government is stepping up. We must take action to protect our hospitals and avoid further lockdowns and school closures. We will require Ontarians be fully vaccinated to access certain businesses and public settings starting September 22, 2021. You must provide proof of vaccination; photo ID and two weeks have passed since you received your second shot. The decision is based on the current evidence and was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout).
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment).
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres.
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness, and recreational facilities with the exception of 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 (e.g., horse racing).

At no time will someone be denied medical care, access to food at grocery stores or basic medical supplies based on their vaccination status.

If you cannot receive the vaccine due to a medical exemption, you will be allowed entry with a doctor’s note until recognized exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated right now will not be required to follow these regulations.

You currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information indicating you were fully vaccinated. Our government is going to introduce an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code. This option is safe, more secure and can be kept on your cellphone. In addition to this, the province will launch a new app making it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while still protecting your privacy. Plus, we will provide additional tools to improve the system in the coming weeks, including establishing alternative options for people with no email, health card or ID.

Based on the latest evidence and expert advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns. For more information about vaccine certification, visit New Requirement for Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings: Frequently Asked Questions.

As the world continues to battle the Delta variant, our government will not waver in its commitment to do what’s necessary to keep you safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses. The most powerful tool we have is vaccinations. We strongly encourage everyone to get both their shots. Working together we can defeat this virus and bounce back stronger than ever.

Doug Ford

Premier of Ontario