Where will I need the vaccine passport in Ontario?
Ontario Public Health is focusing on "higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn."
Proof of vaccination will be required at the following locations:
"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;
"casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
"concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
"strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;"
"racing venues (e.g., horse racing)."
Proof of vaccination will not be required in outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is low. It will also not apply to grocery stores, medical centres or places where people get medical supplies.
What do I do if I'm visiting from Quebec?
According to the Government of Ontario, "individuals visiting from outside the province or the country will be required to show their full vaccination status and identification to enter prescribed settings."
What this means is that Quebecers will be required to show complete documentation including their vaccination proof and photo ID.
Ontario says it will "develop and provide additional tools to improve user experience, efficiency, and business supports in the coming weeks, including ensuring verification of fully vaccinated individuals from outside of province or country."
MTL Blog has reached out to Ontario's Ministry of Health for information on whether these tools will include a QR code reader that will recognize Quebec's QR code proof of vaccination.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
On Thursday, the Quebec government will introduce a new bill at the National Assembly to "regulate anti-vaccine demonstrations near our schools, daycares, hospitals and vaccination clinics," according to Premier François Legault.
"I understand that it is delicate to restrict the right to demonstrate, but frankly, there are limits," Legault wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday morning.
The announcement comes after the premier suggested earlier in the week that his government would move to restrict anti-vaccine protests in front of some public institutions.
Ontario's vaccine passport mandate is officially in force and if you live in Quebec and are planning to visit the province, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Here's what Ontario's proof of vaccination means for Quebecers.
Where will the proof of vaccination be required?
Much like Quebec, in Ontario, proof of vaccination will be required in many public settings where there could be prolonged close contact with other people.
For instance, if you want to visit a restaurant or go see a concert, you'll be required to show proof of vaccination.
Here's the full list of places that need to see your vaccination proof, as established by the Ontario Ministry of Health:
"indoor areas of meeting and event spaces"
including "banquet halls, conference and convention centres (with limited exceptions)"
"indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restoclubs and other similar establishments"
except for delivery and takeout
"indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities"
except for delivery, takeout and patios
"indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal fitness training"
including "gyms, fitness/sporting/ recreational facilities, pools, leagues sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events"
"indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
"indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
"indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
"indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues"
and "indoor areas where film and TV productions take place with studio audiences"
except for cast and crew members
In Ontario, you are considered fully vaccinated if you have:
"the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines, or
"one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or
"three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada" and have "received [the] final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated."
Are there any other exceptions?
There are indeed certain exceptions that will apply, but they are few and quite specific.
For example, "workers, contractors, repair workers, delivery workers, students, volunteers, inspectors or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons" will not be required to show proof of vaccination.
You also won't need to show proof of vaccination at retail shops, going to a wedding, restaurant pick-up and delivery, or if you need to enter an establishment to use the bathroom. Children under 12 years old are also exempt.
Unlike Quebec, Ontario does not require proof of vaccination to access a restaurant patio.
Furthermore, anyone who can show proof of a valid medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 is also exempt from showing proof of vaccination.
Will I be able to show my Quebec vaccine passport?
Ontario is working on a QR code system like Quebec's, but the Ontario government has not confirmed whether the province will recognize Quebec's QR codes.
For now, Ontario says that "patrons who are visitors to Ontario will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and proof of identification to enter the businesses [and] organizations."
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on the vaccine and can answer any questions you may have. Click here for more information.
Quebec's vaccine passport is in full force on Wednesday, September 15, as a two-week grace period comes to an end. The grace period was designed to give business owners and customers an opportunity to adapt, according to Health Minister Christian Dubé.
Fines for non-use of the passport did not apply in the first two weeks of September.
"I want to be very clear," the health minister said on August 24. "There are penalties and sanctions for inappropriate uses [and] there are sanctions in the criminal code for people who want to alter a document that's used by public health."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.