MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
Vaccinations have been proven to be effective in not only decreasing the severity of the COVID-19 infection, but also slowing its spread. Vaccinations will help us avoid further lockdown measures and support our schools and businesses in remaining open.
Vaccinations also help protect hospital capacity. As of Sept. 16, 2021, more than 92% of those in Ontario’s hospitals and more than 93% in Ontario’s ICUs with COVID-19 are unvaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.
The City of Burlington’s proof of vaccination policies align and adhere to our obligations under the Provincial Enhanced Vaccine Certificate (EVC) policy.
Our municipal policy will help give program users and visitors to our facilities and spaces the peace of mind that they are entering a safe place and one that has their health and safety top of mind. I ask for everyone’s patience, particularly in the early days of the implementation of the EVC policy and plan your time ahead accordingly.
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*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — Sept. 17, 2021 — To further protect Ontarians from COVID-19, the Province of Ontario will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting Sept. 22, 2021.
Requiring proof of vaccination in these settings reduces risk and is an important step to encourage Ontarians to get their shot, which is critical to protecting the province’s hospital capacity, while also supporting businesses with the tools they need to keep customers safe, stay open and minimize disruptions.
Impacts to City-operated facilities
In keeping with the provincial regulations and guidance, effective Sept. 22, 2021, individuals entering indoor facilities used for the following purposes (unless otherwise exempt, see “exemptions” below):
- Recreational fitness activities
will be required to be fully vaccinated (as defined in the provincial guidance) and provide proof of vaccination, along with identification.
Individuals may use a paper or downloaded vaccine receipt as proof of vaccination until such time that the Province introduces an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code.
When visiting an indoor facility used for sports, recreational fitness activities, meetings, and events, please be prepared to show proof of identification, proof of vaccination and a completed COVID-19 screening at point of entry. Please plan ahead to allow additional time for entry to the facility and programs.
City-operated facilities not impacted
City-operated services and facilities not impacted by the provincial regulations include:
- City Hall at 426 Brant St.
- outdoor sports fields
- diamonds, parks and playgrounds
- Burlington Transit
- Halton Court Services
A COVID-19 screening, physical distancing, face masks and capacity limits remain in place at all City facilities regardless of the proof of vaccination requirement.
Under the provincial regulations, providing proof of vaccination against COVID-19 does 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. This includes sport coaches and officials.
- A patron entering an indoor area solely (15-minute limit):
- to use a washroom
- to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route
- to make a retail purchase
- to pay for an order or purchase admission
- as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
- Children under 12 years of age.
- Patrons under 18 years of age who are entering an indoor facility for the purpose of participating in an organized sport, including training, practices, games and competitions.
- Patrons who provide a written document completed and supplied by 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.
Individuals who have registered for a program and wish to withdraw
Individuals who anticipate the proof of vaccination requirement will impact their ability to participate in City-run activities they have registered for, can contact Customer Service at email@example.com or 905-335-7738 (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) to withdraw for a credit or refund.
For more information about what to expect at indoor City recreation facilities, view the Frequently Asked Questions at burlington.ca/coronavirus.
- The City of Burlington has an employee COVID-19 vaccination policy applicable to all City employees, regardless of work location.
- Ontarians can print or download their vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal. 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.
- To report an incident in Halton of non-compliance with the provincial COVID measures, please call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722.
- For more information about community supports, please visit the COVID-19 Community Resources web page on Burlington.ca/coronavirus.
- Ontario Releases Regulations & Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy
- Protecting Staff & Residents: City of Burlington Preparing COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
Halton Region has also created a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at halton.ca/covidvaccines for up to date information on the status of our COVID19 vaccination program.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist