Ontario Requires Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings, and More
Date: September 2, 2021
On September 1, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it will require individuals to provide proof of vaccination in order to access designated public settings, beginning on September 22, 2021.
Regulatory amendments have also been filed regarding the paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) and the indoor instructional space at post-secondary institutions requirements in the Rules for Areas at Step 3.
Proof of Vaccination
On September 1, 2021, the Ontario government announced that individuals will be required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days having elapsed from the final dose) in order to access designated public settings. This requirement comes into force on September 22, 2021. Individuals will be required to show their vaccination receipt as proof of vaccination, as well as a piece of photo identification (e.g. a driver’s licence or health card).
The new requirement applies to the following settings:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout)
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment)
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport
- Sporting events
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
- Racing venues (e.g. horse racing).
Proof of vaccination will not be required to access settings which provide medical care, groceries, medical supplies and similar goods and services.
Individuals with medical exemptions will be required to provide a doctor’s note in order to gain entry to these settings, until the recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate.
Note that indoor masking requirements remain in place.
Beginning October 22, 2021, an enhanced digital vaccine receipt with a unique QR code, and accompanying verification app, will be made available.
Between September 22 and October 12, 2021, the government states that it is intended that individuals “attending wedding or funeral receptions at meeting or event spaces will be able to provide a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test from no more than 48 hours before the event as an alternative to proof of vaccination. These rapid antigen tests would have to be privately purchased.”
Extension of Paid IDEL
On August 31, 2021, the government filed O. Reg. 622/21 amending O. Reg. 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave, to extend the availability of paid IDEL to December 31, 2021. This change takes effect immediately.
For more information on paid IDEL, see our FTR Now of May 3, 2021, Ontario Enacts Legislation to Provide Paid Leave for Reasons Related to COVID-19.
Changes Applicable to Post-Secondary Institutions
On September 1, 2021, the Ontario government filed O. Reg. 630/21 amending O. Reg. 364/20 Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at The Roadmap Exit Step, with respect to instructional spaces at post-secondary institutions.
The requirement to physically distance no longer applies to persons who attend an indoor instructional space at a post-secondary institution. Capacity limit requirements have also been removed for indoor instructional spaces. Masking requirements remain in place. This change does not apply to Indigenous Institutes, unless they implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy consistent with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for post-secondary institutions.
The rules related to outdoor instructional spaces are unchanged. These spaces must be operated to permit students to maintain a physical distance of two metres from every other person (except where the teaching cannot be effectively provided with distancing requirements in place). The number of students permitted in the outdoor instructional space cannot exceed the lesser of 15,000 persons and 75% of the capacity of the instructional space, as determined by a prescribed formula.
These amendments come into effect on September 7, 2021.
Should you require further information about these changes, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
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