The Ontario “vaccination passport” for COVID has officially come into effect. If you’re planning on dining out, here are the best tips and advice on how to ensure you’re following the guidelines.
WHAT DO I NEED TO SHOW AS PROOF?
There are going to be two stages of the “vaccination passport” rollout. The first starts on September 22, 2021, and allows individuals to show their vaccination receipts that are either printed or saved as a PDF to a mobile device to as proof.
Stage two of the rollout begins on October 22, 2021. The Ontario government will be launching a QR code and verification app which will be the standard to use. Users will have to request their certificate with their personal QR code through the province’s digital portal or service desk. Restaurants and other establishments will then use an app to scan the code and verify vaccination.
There is an option until October 12, 2021 to provide a negative antigen test within 48 hours of attending, but after that date, only fully vaccinated are allowed.
WHERE DO I GET MY PROOF OF VACCINATION?
The Province of Ontario has a web portal allowing you to download a pdf of your proof of vaccination to either store on your mobile device or print a hard copy of. It can be downloaded here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-booking-support#proof-of-vaccination
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?
In addition to the proof of vaccination, you’ll also be required to show a government issued photo ID with matching name and birthdate.
WHO IS REQUIRED TO SHOW THIS?
As of September 22, 2021, the Province of Ontario is requiring anyone over the age of 12 entering for indoor dining (seated at a table) or attending indoor events, be fully vaccinated with 2 doses more than 14 day prior.
If you plan to eat or drink inside, be prepared to have the digital or paper proof of COVID-19 vaccination and government issued photo ID with matching name and birthdate.
WHAT IF I HAVE A MEDICAL REASON FOR NOT GETTING A VACCINE?
If you have a medical reason for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, an official doctors letter and matching ID are required. The Province of Ontario has stated there are only two officially valid medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations.
The first would be an allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine within an individual, which must be confirmed by an allergist or immunologist.
The second would be if an individual suffered myocarditis or pericarditis after the first dose of a vaccine.
IS THERE A LIST OF PLACES I NEED PROOF OF VACCINATION AT?
Here’s a list of some of the places vaccination is required as of Sept. 22:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios)
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas)
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and person fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities (with the exception of youth recreational sport)
- Sporting events
- Indoor areas of waterparks
- Indoor areas of commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
- Racing venues
WHO DOES THE PASSPORT NOT APPLY TO AT A RESTAURANT, BREWERY, WINERY OR DISTILLERY?
Customers purchasing retail/takeout from an establishment or enjoying a beverage/dining on a patio do not need to show proof of vaccination.
WILL I STILL NEED TO GIVE CONTACT INFO?
Yes. Your name and number will still be required for contact tracing purposes should there be an outbreak/exposure at the location you visited.
WILL I STILL NEED TO SCREEN MYSELF TO DRINK/DINE AT AN ESTABLISHMENT EVEN WITH PROOF OF VACCINATION?
Yes, again. Every guest that plans to drink and/or dine on site needs to screen for COVID symptoms before dining indoors or on the patio.
WHAT IF WE’RE ALL FROM THE SAME HOUSEHOLD?
Every. Single. Patron.
DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK AND STAY 6FT APART?
Yep. All guests will need to continue to following COVID appropriate behaviours such as wearing masks, hand washing or sanitizing and keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and others.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Just don’t be an ass. All these businesses are doing is following government mandated rules that were enforced on them. Do not berate or be rude to staff. Do not voice your displeasure. Do not share your politics.
The staff at restaurants are mainly younger individuals, making minimum wage and just trying to do their jobs they’re told to do the best they can. Be kind and be a better person.