With more than a week until COVID-19 vaccine certificates are required to reach many indoor settings in Ontario, the provincial government has issued additional details on the program, exemptions from it and fines for non-compliance.
Beginning September 22, residents visiting the following indoor settings will be required to show proof of a valid medical exemption for at least 14 days with a full vaccination or a piece of identification: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts Event venues, gyms and fitness facilities, theatres, cinemas, racetracks, waterparks, TV and film productions with studio audiences, sports venues, casino and gaming establishments, meeting and event spaces, strip clubs and bathhouses.
Starting October 22, Ontario is set to roll out a QR code-based mobile application for use by residents and businesses in place of current vaccination receipts. For those who do not have a mobile device, advanced paper vaccine certificates with a QR code will be issued by the Ontario government (if residents do not have a computer or printer, they can call 1-833-943-3900).
Officials announced on Tuesday that exemptions have been defined as being asked to produce proof of vaccination when entering indoor settings above, which include those who are required to only use washrooms, pay for orders, and more. , need to access the outdoor area that can only be done in an indoor way, ordering or picking up a go, buying admission, buying something at a retail store or if there is a health and safety related reason.
Children under the age of 12, who currently cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19, will be exempted from the screening requirements. Children under the age of 18 who enter an indoor venue for organized sports will also be exempted from screening.
When it comes to funerals, weddings and other religious ceremonies or rites, proof of vaccination will not be required unless the person is attending any associated social gatherings (such as receptions). Attending a social gathering specific to a funeral is exempt if it is being held in a funeral home or any other facility approved under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act.
There will be no obligation on businesses to verify the validity of medical exemptions being provided, officials said. He also added that work is underway to introduce a standardized form for medical professionals.
When checking proof-of-vaccination documents, business operators and employees were encouraged to match the person’s name and birthday against the identity they produced. They were also encouraged to see that two doses of a vaccine and at least 14 days had passed since the last dose.
One of the following forms of identification must be shown with a vaccine receipt or medical exemption: driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, Ontario photo card or other government-issued identification, Indian status card or indigenous membership card or a permanent resident Card.
Under Ontario government regulation, fines will start at $750 for those who don’t comply with screening or produce forged documents, and $1,000 for businesses.
At the time of publication, officials did not release the full rules announcing the changes as well as the accepted reasons for the medical exemption. However, an Ontario government spokesman said he could be released by the end of Tuesday.
This is a developing story that will be updated throughout the afternoon.
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