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Ontario Releases Regulations & Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy

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Today (Sept. 14), the Province of Ontario released its regulations and some guidance for its proof of vaccination policy that will go into effect Sept. 22.

City of Burlington staff are currently assessing these regulations to ensure that any measures taken within City facilities are aligned with Provincial regulations and the City’s efforts to keep our community safe. It is important to note the City’s vaccine policies cannot contradict Provincial regulations, and this is why our staff have to go through these regulations to ensure that the correct policies are set in place. Our City policies will only be applicable to our own facilities, and not to private businesses.

Please see below for additionally important information. Click here to learn how the Province’s Enhanced Vaccine Certificate program affects City of Burlington facilities.

Highlights from today’s provincial government briefing:

  • Today, the government released the regulations and guidance for businesses and organizations to support them in implementing proof of vaccination requirements, which take effect on September 22, 2021. Requiring proof of vaccination will help increase vaccination rates, protect individuals in higher-risk indoor settings, and keep businesses open. – News Release
  • In advance of September 22, all Ontarians can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal. The Ministry is working on additional supports and services to assist Ontario residents who need help obtaining proof of vaccination, including requesting a copy be sent by mail. Those who need support obtaining a copy of their vaccination receipt including those who do not have access to a computer or printer can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT HIGHLIGHTS:

Exemptions:

Proof of identification and proof of vaccination against COVID-19 requirements do not apply to:

  • Workers, contractors, repair workers, delivery workers, students, volunteers, inspectors or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons.
  • A  patron who is entering an indoor area solely for the following purposes:
    • to use a washroom;
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route;
    • to make a retail purchase;
    • while placing or picking up an order, including placing a bet or picking up winnings in the case of a horse racing track;
    • while paying for an order;
    • to purchase admission; or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
    • **All other public health measures (e.g., masking and physical distancing) continue to apply to patrons.
  • Children under 12 years of age.
  • Patrons under 18 years of age who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport, in accordance with the guidance below and in Appendix A:
    • The exemption relating to youth under 18 years of age actively participating in indoor organized sport applies to training, practices, games and competitions. Examples of an organized sport for which the exemption applies include:
      • sports leagues
      • organized pick-up sports
      • dance classes
      • martial arts
      • swimming classes
    • The exemption does not apply to youth who are spectators at sporting events. Nor does the exemption apply to youth who are using a gym or other area with exercise equipment or weights unless actively participating in an organized sport.
    • Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and proof of identification (or proof of being entitled to another exemption) is required for patrons 18 years and older, including parents or guardians of youth actively participating in an organized sport. Businesses or organizations should establish processes to ensure compliance with this requirement, including processes to ensure compliance with this requirement when a business or organization is uncertain   whether a patron is under 18 years of age. Proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated is not required for workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials.
  • Patrons who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, solely for the purposes of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, but not an associated social gathering (See Appendix B).
  • Patrons who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space that is located in a place of worship or in a funeral establishment, cemetery, crematorium or similar establishment that provides funeral, cemetery or cremation services and that is operated by a person licensed under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony (See Appendix B).
  • Patrons who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space other than a place described in (f)  above, including a conference centre or convention centre, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony, on or after September 22, 2021, but before October 13, 2021, as long as the patron produces the results of an antigen test administered within the previous 48 hours establishing that the person is negative for COVID-19 to the person responsible for the establishment (See Appendix B).
  • Patrons who provide a written document, completed and supplied by a physician (designated as “MD”)  or by a registered nurse in the extended class (designated as “Registered Nurse (Extended Class)”,  “RN(EC)”,  “Nurse Practitioner” or “NP”) stating that the individual is exempt for a medical reason from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the effective time-period for the medical reason. Patrons with a medical exemption are required to present identification and a written document stating the individual is exempt for a medical reason to the business or organization

PROVINCIAL FAQs ON USE OF VACCINATION RECEIPTS

Proving Identity:

  • Validation of identification must also be undertaken to ensure that vaccination receipt offered by the patron belongs to them. Validation of vaccination will be based on two key identifiers:
    • Name of the identification holder; and
    • Date of birth.
  • A photo identification is not required.
  • Examples of identification documents that may be used to confirm the identity of the holder of the vaccine receipt include:
    • Birth certificate
    • Citizenship card
    • Driver’s licence
    • Government (Ontario or other) issued identification card, including health card (N.B. – Individuals may voluntarily offer an Ontario health card (issued under the Health Insurance Act) for identification purposes, however a person or entity who is not a health information custodian must not record or copy the health card number. Individuals have a right to refuse to provide their health cards. It is an offence under PHIPA to require the production of a health card or health card number in certain circumstances.)
    • Indian Status Card /Indigenous Membership Card
    •  Passport
    • Permanent Resident card
  • Validation of identification is considered to have been completed/successful when the name and date of birth of the presenter of the vaccination receipt and the name and date of birth on the identification document match. If the name and date of birth on both documents do not match, the individual will not be allowed to enter the business or organization.

Penalties:

  • Failing to comply with the Provincial requirements of O. Reg. 364/20 can result in charges under the ROA. If charged under Part I of the Provincial Offenses Act (POA), set fine amounts are $750 for individuals and $1,000 for corporations.
  • Maximum penalties based on a prosecution under Part I or Part II of the POA include fines of up to $100,000 and up to a year in jail for an individual; up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail for an individual who is a director or officer of a corporation; and up to $10 million for a corporation.
  • Violence in the workplace is never acceptable. Obstructing any person exercising a power or performing a duty (including workers) in accordance with requirements in O. Reg. 364/20 can also result in charges under the ROA.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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