Ontario Announces Vaccine Passport App Coming for Access to Restaurants, Gyms and More

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Ontario announced a vaccine passport is coming for the province later this month, to enable residents to access non-essential services and prove their fully vaccinated status.

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to have two doses of vaccines and prove their vaccination status with photo ID to access certain public places and facilities, including higher-risk indoor settings such as:

  • 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).

While Ontario currently uses paper or PDF vaccine receipts, the province will introduce digital vaccine receipts as well in the form of a QR code, that can be kept on your smartphone. Ontario says it will also be launching a new app for residents and businesses to read and verify QR codes, “while protecting your privacy.

Ontario says residents will have to show their vaccine receipt plus another piece of photo ID (driver’s license or health card), mentioning their model will be similar to that of British Columbia.

“As the world continues its fight against the Delta variant, our government will never waver in our commitment to do what’s necessary to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses,” said Premier Ford, in a statement. “Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns. If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so today.”

Today, Quebec launched its vaccine passport system in the province, requiring residents to show their fully-vaccinated status to enter similar non-essential services and places such as those in Ontario.