Ontario releases guidelines for enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine passport

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

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Starting Wednesday next week, patrons must show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter settings, including restaurants, theaters and gyms.

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

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

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Businesses must ensure that the name and date of birth on the vaccination receipt match those on the identity document before customers are allowed access to the venue.

Businesses won’t have to validate medical exemption notes they can present – officials say a standardized note is under way.

The province says enforcement officials are starting to visit businesses this week to discuss system requirements, which apply to patrons but not site workers.

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

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

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

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