Province rolls out new QR code vaccine passports

852

The province of Ontario is rolling out its new QR code vaccine passport early, ahead of the official launch October 22.

Starting today, individuals born in the months of January, February, March and April are able to download their QR code from the Ontario vaccination portal.

People born in the months of May through August will be able to download the code beginning at 12 am Saturday, and codes for those born from September to December will be available Sunday.

As of 6 am Monday, QR codes will be available to all Ontario residents, regardless of month of birth.

Along with the QR codes, a free, made-in Ontario verification app (Verify Ontario) is available for businesses to download to read the QR codes.

“I want to thank every Ontarian for their patience and cooperation as we’ve implemented our proof of vaccination policy,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“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.”

People can save the electronic version of their vaccine certificate with a QR code to their phone or print a paper copy. Businesses must accept both electronic and paper versions.

In addition, while the current vaccine receipt without a QR code remains valid and will continue to be accepted, the province is encouraging individuals to download their enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code as an easier, more secure and convenient way to have their proof of vaccination verified.

Ontarians will need to continue to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth along with their proof of vaccination when visiting select businesses and organizations, including restaurants, gyms and movie theatres.

“Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing Ontarians can do to protect themselves and their communities,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“We are making it simpler, faster and more convenient for Ontarians to show their proof of vaccination, allowing them to safely access businesses and other settings across the province. If you haven’t yet received your vaccine, please do so today.”

Since the proof of vaccination requirement went into effect, the province says it has reached two key milestones in its COVID-19 response with more than 87 per cent of individuals aged 12 and over vaccinated with at least a first dose and more than 82 per cent with two doses.

“Getting vaccinated is the most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from COVID-19,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“Proof of vaccination using the new vaccine certificate with QR code and Verify Ontario app are important tools to help stop the spread of the virus while keeping businesses and organizations open safely.”

Both Ford and Moore said further announcements would be coming next week as to how the province eases COVID restrictions and moves forward out of “Step 3” of its “Roadmap to Reopen.”

  • For more local news, pick up a copy of this week’s NRT. To get the NRT delivered directly to your mail box or inbox each week, subscribe here.