The Ontario government has now made the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with official QR code available to people in the province in advance of its Oct. 22 implementation date.
The certificate is available for download from the COVID-19 vaccination portal over the course of three days, based on birth month:
Oct. 15: All individuals born between January and April
Oct. 16: All individuals born between May and August
Oct. 17: All individuals born between September to December
As of Oct. 18, at 6:00 a.m., the portal will open for all individual to download their enhanced vaccine certificate. Ontarians can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have the enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed. Individuals with a red and white Ontario health card will have to phone the provincial call centre.
What will Ontarians need to show as vaccine proof?
Each person in Ontario can use the electronic version of their vaccine certificate or print a paper copy to show at various businesses and services
Alternatively, the original vaccine receipt from when residents were inoculated can also be shown
Ontarians will also have to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth with their proof of vaccination
The province is working to integrate medical exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement into the enhanced system, but at this point, individuals who fall into that category will have to present a note from a medical doctor or registered nurse.
How does the scanning of Ontario COVID-19 vaccine certificate QR codes work?
Businesses can now download the Verify Ontario app from the Apple App and Google Play stores, in advance of Oct. 22. The app will show a green check mark when the QR code is verified, or a red "X" if an individual does not meet the vaccination criteria, including being partially vaccinated or if it has been less than 14 days since they received their second dose.
This app for businesses can be used without an internet connection, but the provincial government advises that it will "need to connect to the internet periodically to keep it up to date."
The app to verify COVID-19 vaccination does not store personal information, the Ontario government confirmed. The app can only successfully scan "official, government issued QR codes," including those from other provinces and territories like Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon.
“I want to thank every Ontarian for their patience and cooperation as we’ve implemented our proof of vaccination policy,” a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford reads.
“The enhanced vaccine certificates and Verify Ontario app will give our businesses further comfort in their ability to operate safely as we take further steps to protect people’s privacy. These certificates remain a key element of our plan to protect the gains we have made while avoiding future lockdowns.”
Locations where proof of COVID-19 vaccination has to be shown include:
Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, food and drink establishments (excluding patios, delivery/take out pick ups, to use the washroom)
Indoor areas of gyms, recreational and fitness facilities
Social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony in a meeting or event space
Casinos, bingo halls, indoor areas of horse racing tracks
Indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas and spectator sporting events