Just a few days before the province’s vaccine passport system comes into effect, officials have announced new details about what the whole ‘proof of vaccination’ process will look like in Ontario. Starting on Wednesday, September 22nd, Ontarians will have to show their proof of vaccination certificate with a piece of government ID to go into places like movie theatres, nightclubs, gyms, and indoor dining areas. But, that will change come October.

According to the Associate Minister of Digital Government, Kaleed Rasheed, residents will be given a unique QR code on October 22nd which will serve as an easier and quicker way to show their vaccination status to businesses.

These businesses will have access to a free smartphone app that scans the QR codes and pulls up the corresponding Ministry of Health data about the individual, including whether or not they have a valid medical reason for not receiving a vaccine and are therefore exempt from the requirements.

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Rasheed emphasized that the app will only use a minimal amount of personal information to verify a person’s vaccination status. Your personal data will not be stored in the app.

The QR code isn’t mandatory, either. You’ll still be able to use the print or digital version of your vaccine certificate even after October 22nd.

As for enforcement, Minister of Health Christine Elliott says that bylaw and police will be responding to any situation where rules aren’t being followed. And it’s worth mentioning that unvaccinated people who are dining on patios can still go inside to use the washroom and pay for their bill — Dr. Kieran Moore said that as long as the individual is wearing a mask and spends less than 15 minutes inside, the risk for transmission is very low.

Here’s a list of businesses and facilities where you’ll be required to show proof of vaccination in Ontario as of September 22nd.

  • Indoor dining at restaurants and bars (excluding patios and takeout)
  • Both indoor and outdoor areas of nightclubs
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Gyms and fitness facilities (excluding youth sports)
  • Sporting events
  • Movie theatres
  • Casinos and bingo halls
  • Concerts and festivals
  • Strip clubs
  • Racing venues

Those with legitimate medical conditions and children under 12 who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine will be exempt. Proof is not required at places like retail stores, medical care settings, salons, places of worship, and outdoor facilities.