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BREAKING: Ford government confirms 'vaccine certificate system' coming to Ontario

The program states that no person will be "prevented from accessing necessary medical care, food from grocery store, basic medical supplies or other essentials based on vaccination status."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On Wednesday, the Ontario provincial government announced that proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter non-essential businesses starting on September 22.

The announcement came as part of the provincial government's vaccine certification program, according to CP24.

Starting September 22, all Ontario residents will be required to show that they have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the start date to enter restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, sporting events, concerts, casinos, strip clubs, and more.

"As the world continues its fight against the Delta variant, our government will never waver in our commitment to do what's necessary to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses," said Premier Doug Ford in a news release on Wednesday.

"Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns. If you haven't received your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please do so today," he continued.

The program states that no person will be "prevented from accessing necessary medical care, food from grocery store, basic medical supplies or other essentials based on vaccination status."

It also adds that vaccination status will not affect whether someone can vote in the upcoming federal election.

Exemptions will be made for those with medical conditions and those under 12 years old.

Between Sept. 22 to Oct. 12, unvaccinated individuals will be given a temporary exemption if they show a negative COVID-19 test result 48 hours prior to attending funeral or wedding receptions at meeting and events spaces.

Ontario resident will be required to use either the paper or PDF vaccine receipt available online, in addition to a photo ID to show proof of vaccination.

The province is currently developing an app and QR system that would contain a person's vaccination status. Each person would be given a unique QR code to show businesses.

Officials say that the province will move to the QR-based system by October 22.

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