By: Liam McCurry
By Bruce Reeve – https://www.flickr.com/photos/58609798@N00/13912079946/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66924228
The province announced people will require proof of full vaccination to enter select indoor settings beginning Sept. 22.
Full vaccination is two doses plus two weeks since the second dose. The businesses affected by this mandate include restaurants, gyms and sporting venues the province said in a media release.
To enter any of the listed public settings one must provide proof of full vaccination and photo issued ID, the province said.
The highly contagious delta variant has forced Ford to make this decision and implement the vaccine passport.
Nightclubs, casinos, strip clubs, racing venues, banquet venues, concerts and musical festivals will all require proof of vaccination, the release said the only exemptions are outdoor patios at restaurants and youth recreational facilities, said the province.
Premier Doug Ford said the vaccine passport is a necessary measure although he was originally against the idea of a vaccination requirement. He blamed the federal government for not stepping in and creating a national vaccination passport.
“It would have been much easier if we had one passport federal passport, we could utilize for travelling utilize for going into restaurants or other areas, that never happened. We’ve stepped up,” Ford said.
Ultimately, Ford had to decide whether or not to go ahead with the vaccine passport or risk another shutdown during the fourth wave.
“If we don’t take these steps, there’s nothing worse than shutting down the entire economy and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Ford said.
Andrea Horwath, NDP leader and leader of the official opposition, was not happy this policy was implemented so late in the fourth wave.
“We should already have vaccine certificates in Ontario, Doug Ford keeps dragging his feet, playing politics with public health and doing the bare minimum,” Horwath said.
The certificate requirement doesn’t extend to staff of the businesses affected, butit leaves the decision to the employer whether or not to enforce a vaccine mandate on employees.
Horwath calls the policy loophole a “head scratcher” putting yet another burden on businesses.
She called out Ford again for his inaction whole opposition parties campaigned in favour of a vaccine certificate.
“Ford seems to be more interested in not offending anti-vaxxers than in protecting Ontarians,” Horwath said.
The Liberals called it, “long overdue” and the Green Party described the passport as being, “months late.”
Salons and barbershops have been closed for months during the pandemic are not required to have customers show proof of vaccination to enter, the province said.
The mandate targets indoor areas where large groups gather and places wearing a mask isn’t always possible, Ford said.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to stay healthy, the province said.
“COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of the virus while helping us avoid further lockdowns,” Ford said. “If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so today.”
Disclaimer. This post was originally written Oct. 6 2021