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Proof vaccination takes effect in Ontario on September 22

As of September 22, 2021, Ontario residents will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus the 14-day period for it to take effect) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes: 

  • 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 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). 

These mandatory requirements will not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place. 

Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note 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. 

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. 

Ontario will develop and provide additional tools to improve user experience, efficiency and business supports in the coming weeks, including establishing alternative tools for people with no email, health card or ID. The government will 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. 

Ontarians currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated. As of September 22, Ontarians will be required to show their vaccine receipt when entering designated settings along with another piece of photo identification, such as a driver’s licence or health card.  

Ontario will also introduce an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code, which is safe, more secure and with you wherever you go. This digital vaccine receipt can be kept on a phone and easily used to show that you’ve been vaccinated if you need to. In addition, the province will launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting individual privacy. 

Local cases and vaccination rates

Across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), there were 120 active cases of COVID-19 as of September 20. Out of the 120 cases, 64 of them were in the City of Cornwall, and Hawkesbury and South Stormont were tied at 12 each for the second-highest number of cases. 

Four people across the EOHU’s jurisdiction were in hospital as of September 20. 

The second dose vaccination rate for residents of the EOHU’s territory, as of September 20, was 80 per cent and represented 146,382 people. 

According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, 69 per cent of Ontario residents of all ages have been fully vaccinated as of September 20, representing 10,309,713 people. 

In Québec, proof of vaccination requirements have been in effect since September 1. Ontario residents are required to show their Ontario proof of vaccination with a piece of photo identification at affected businesses and services, which also include bars, restaurants, fitness facilities, events, and entertainment venues. 

As of Monday, September 20, 12,929,144 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered across Québec. Across the Laurentides region, which includes Argenteuil, 902,528 vaccine doses had been administered as of September 20. 

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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