OCC waiting for further guidance from province for vaccine certificate program for businesses

vaccine passport stock photo
©CAN STOCK PHOTO/DIY13

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Without legislation or further guidance from the province regarding workplace vaccination policies, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is referring to Vax-Pass Tenets, a proof-of-vaccination framework to support reopening plans for Ontario private sector businesses developed in consultation with McCarthy Tétrault.

“We support the implementation of a provincial vaccination certificate for high-risk indoor settings that is verifiable, secure, standardized, accessible, and portable, as recommended by Ontario’s Science Table,” Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of OCC said in a statement.

“We are now in the fourth wave and COVID-19 vaccination is the single greatest risk mitigation tool against a resurgence of the virus. A well-designed vaccine passport system can help prevent another province-wide lockdown, which would be devastating for businesses and the economy. COVID-19 vaccination mandates for permitted entry in high-risk commercial spaces are key to preventing viral spread, protecting the most vulnerable groups, and ensuring the success of our economy.”

Provinces with a vaccine passport system will experience higher economic growth, greater consumer and business confidence and reduced risk of further lockdowns, compared to those without a domestic passport system according to TD Bank.

“There remains an opportunity for the government to provide further guidance to the province’s business community, particularly around workplace vaccination policies for employees,” Rossi said. “We are concerned that a lack of clear guidance will disproportionately impact small businesses and lead to a patchwork of inconsistent policies across the province. Clarity must be provided around what constitutes accommodation, how the technology can be used for employees, timelines, enforcement, and other considerations.

The OCC would work with the government to “ensure a smooth implementation” of vaccine passports for Ontario businesses, Rossi said.

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