Vaccine Passport Plan Announced for Ontario

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Starting September 22, 2021 Ontarians will be asked for proof of vaccination status to access certain businesses and for specific indoor activities. The province made the announcement today in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.  

You will be required to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days), and provide proof of vaccination (paper or PDF receipt that includes all vaccine information) along with photo ID if you want to attend the following places: 

  • 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)

If you are already fully vaccinated and don't have your receipts you can download them from the provincial COVID-19 vaccination site

The plan is said to focus on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and where the risk of transmission is a lot higher.
Vaccination proof of status will not apply to grocery or retail stores, or to access medical care or services.

Medical Exemptions

If you can’t get the vaccine due to medical exemptions you can still access the indoor businesses and activities from the list provided that you show a doctor’s note. This will be the process until recognized medical 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 will also be exempted from these requirements.

Weddings and Funerals

For the period between September 22 and October 12, 2021, it is intended that people attending wedding or funeral receptions at meeting or event spaces will be able to provide a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test from no more than 48 hours before the event as an alternative to proof of vaccination. These rapid antigen tests would have to be privately purchased.

2021/2022 School Year

The province said it will work with public health units to use the existing COVaxON system to confirm the vaccination status of students to ensure rapid case and contact management if required to limit disruptions in the event of cases or outbreaks and to keep kids in class.

The Government of Ontario expects to provide additional tools in the coming weeks to improve the user experience, including establishing alternative tools for people with no email, health card or ID. They will also work to support implementation of vaccine certificates for Indigenous communities whether or not they have opted to enter their data into COVaxON, while maintaining Indigenous data governance, control, access and possession principles.

Ontario is also working on an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code that will be easily kept on a phone and they will launch a new app to make it more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting people’s privacy.

If you haven't booked your vaccination appointment yet you can visit COVID-19 Vaccines Ontario to book now.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions on the vaccine passports visit the New Requirements for Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings FAQ page from the website.