Ontario releases guidelines for enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine passport

Diners sit in outdoor seating while eating at a restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood, on July 19.

Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Ontario has issued guidance for businesses that will soon have to enforce its new COVID-19 vaccine certificate system.

Starting Wednesday next week, patrons will need to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter settings that include restaurants, theatres and gyms.

The province says businesses and patrons who don’t follow the rules could be fined.

The system will initially require patrons to show a paper or digital receipt of vaccination along with a form of government-issued identification, such as a driver’s licence, birth certificate or health card.

Businesses must ensure the name and date of birth on the vaccination receipt match those on the identification document before allowing customers access to the venue.

Businesses will not have to validate medical exemption notes that may be presented – officials say a standardized note is in the works.

The province says enforcement officers are starting to visit businesses this week to discuss the system’s requirements, which apply to patrons but not venue workers.

Businesses are instructed to contact law enforcement about harassment or threats over the policy.

The government says all provincial offences officers – including bylaw, police and public health inspectors – can provide education on the system and issue fines related to it.

On Oct. 22, the province aims to launch a QR code and verification app for businesses to streamline the process.

Ontario’s proof of vaccination system, requiring the shots to enter non-essential settings, takes effect Sept. 22. The Canadian Press

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