Ontario releases new details on vaccine certificate program to start Sept. 22

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario has released guidance for businesses one week before COVID-19 vaccines become mandatory to enter some non-essential establishments including restaurants and bars, gyms, movie theatres, sporting venue or concert, and to use a large meeting and event space.

New rules begin Sept. 22 and Ontario residents will need to either print or download their second dose receipt from the government website and show government-issued ID until an “enhanced” certificate becomes available on Oct. 22.

Employees are being asked to match the name and date of birth listed on the vaccination receipt with the information on the ID. The receipt must be for the individual’s second dose, and employees should verify that the date of administration was at least 14 days prior.

Individuals don’t have to prove they’re fully immunized when they enter establishments to access an outdoor area, to place or pick up an order, to use the washroom or to place a bet at a horse racing track. “The patron seeking entry is solely responsible for demonstrating that they are the legitimate holder of the receipt,” officials warned in a presentation on Tuesday.

Non-compliance by individuals or businesses may result in fines under the Reopening Ontario Act.

The government has also said that in the event of harassment or threats of violence, law enforcement should be contacted.

Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government, said Tuesday the province was “on track” to deliver an “enhanced” certificate program by Oct. 22. Ontario residents will be given a QR code with their vaccination information and businesses will use an app to scan them.

“Our made-in-Ontario app will make it quicker and easier for businesses to confirm that a person’s vaccine certificate is valid,” Rasheed said while clarifying that patrons will have a choice to download the QR code or use their printed receipt.l

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