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Watch live: Ontario releases new details on how people will prove their immunization status starting September 22


TORONTO – Ontario released new guidelines for businesses a week before COVID-19 vaccines became mandatory to enter certain non-essential facilities.

Starting September 22, proof of immunization status will be required to eat indoors in restaurants and bars, to enter a gym, movie theater, gym or concert, and to use a large meeting and event space.

Residents of Ontario will need to print or download their second dose receipt from the government website until an “enhanced” certificate is available on October 22.

They can also use a receipt signed by an Aboriginal health care provider or a receipt from an “other jurisdiction”.

The new rules will not impact children under 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

To enter a vaccine-mandated business, customers will need to provide proof of their status and provide identification at the door.

Employees are encouraged to match the name and date of birth on the vaccination receipt with the information on the ID. The receipt should match the person’s second dose, and employees should verify that the date of administration is at least 14 days earlier.

Examples of identification documents that can be used to confirm immunization status include a birth certificate, citizenship card, driver’s license, government issued identity card including health card, Indian Status Card or Aboriginal Membership Card, Passport or Residence Card.

A photo is not required.

“The customer seeking entry is solely responsible for demonstrating that he is the rightful holder of the receipt,” officials warned during a presentation Tuesday.

Non-compliance by individuals or businesses may result in fines under the Ontario Reopening Act.

The province said it had decided to take a “measured approach” to implementing the vaccine mandate, saying it hoped to balance public safety and risk to business. Officers will start with education and warnings to ensure a business is following proper protocols.

The government also said that in the event of harassment or threats of violence, law enforcement should be contacted.

Kaleed Rasheed, associate minister for digital government, said on Tuesday the province was “on track” to offer an “enhanced” certificate program by October 22. Residents of Ontario will receive a QR code with their vaccination information, and businesses will use an app to scan them.

“Our made-in-Ontario app will make it faster and easier for businesses to confirm that a person’s vaccination certificate is valid,” Rasheed said while noting that customers will have the choice of downloading the QR code or using their printed receipt.

Speaking in the background on Tuesday morning, officials said the province has a working prototype of an app that businesses can use to scan a QR code proving customers’ vaccination status.

The app is developed in-house, the province said.

VACCINE CERTIFICATE EXEMPTIONS

The government has also published a more comprehensive list of exemptions for the vaccination certificate program.

Proof of vaccination will not be required if someone is simply paying for an order or using the washroom at an indoor facility where vaccination is mandatory.

While those who wish to be spectators inside a racetrack will need to be fully vaccinated, individuals do not need two doses to place or collect their winnings.

Customers also won’t need to be fully immunized to make a retail purchase.

While spectators of indoor sports must provide proof of vaccination, those who “actively participate in organized sport” do not.

The province also distinguishes between attending a wedding or funeral ceremony, in which proof of vaccination is not required, and the associated social gathering, where guests must be fully vaccinated.

Regular exemptions also apply to people who have received written notification from a healthcare professional that they have a medical reason not to be vaccinated.

ONTARIO IN THE “LAST KILOMETER” OF VACCINE DEPLOYMENT

Officials said Ontario is now in the “last mile” of its vaccine rollout. In order to achieve the coveted 90 percent coverage rate – which doctors say is necessary to curb the spread of the Delta variant – 1.5 million people will need to be fully immunized.

As of Tuesday, 84.5% of eligible Ontarians aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19, while about 78.2% are considered fully immunized with two injections.

The province said its “last mile” strategy is to target populations with low immunization rates. This includes over 550 school-based clinics that are “planned or operational” and the use of the GO-VAXX bus, which has traveled to community centers, sporting events, malls, fairs, markets and post-secondary institutions.

vaccine

Ontario’s two COVID-19 phone lines – the one to book a vaccine and the one to ask questions about the vaccine – are also merging.

The new Provincial Contact Center for Vaccines (1-833-943-3600) will be operational from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

A new service will also be launched in the coming weeks in partnership with the Hospital for Sick Kids offering consultations by appointment for young people and their families.

Additional groups have been added to the eligibility list for a third COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Ontario began offering third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to those most at risk for serious illness in mid-August. At the time, the following people could receive a third injection: transplant recipients, patients with hematologic cancers, recipients of an anti-CD20 agent, and residents of high-risk settings such as long-term care homes. , First Nations retirement homes and elder care. lodges.

On Tuesday, the province expanded that list, adding the following groups:

  • Those on active treatment for solid tumors and hematologic malignancies

  • Those who receive a solid organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive therapy

  • Those who receive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplants

  • Those with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency

  • Untreated stage 3 or advanced HIV infection and people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

  • Those on active treatment with the following therapies: high-dose systematic corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, tumor necrosis blockers, and anti-B-cell therapies

Officials say more than 30,000 third doses have been administered in Ontario.

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