Ontario Provides Guidelines To Businesses On COVID-19 Vaccine Enforcement

The Government of Ontario has issued guidance to businesses that will soon have to enforce the province’s new COVID-19 vaccine certificate system.

Starting September 22, Ontario residents will need to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of identification to enter settings that include restaurants, theatres and gyms. The province says businesses and patrons who don't follow the rules could be fined.

The system will initially require people to show a paper or digital receipt of vaccination along with a form of government-issued identification, such as a driver's licence, birth certificate or health card.

Businesses must ensure the name and date of birth on the vaccination receipt match those on the identification document before allowing customers access to the venue. Businesses will not have to validate medical exemption notes that may be presented -- officials say a standardized note is being developed.

The province says enforcement officers are starting to visit businesses this week to discuss the system's requirements, which apply to patrons but not workers. Businesses are instructed to contact law enforcement about harassment or threats over the policy.

The government says all provincial offences officers -- including bylaw, 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 for businesses to streamline the process.