Ford says he knows many people are concerned about their civil liberties being impeded by the certificates that are set to be introduced Wednesday. Certificates proving that a person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be necessary to enter a gym, theatre, or dine inside a restaurant.
“COVID-19 doesn’t care about partisanship or politics and I will continue to work closely with the Prime Minister.”
“Please, let’s all remain calm and patient. There will be a learning curve for everyone, so please be considerate of each other,” he said.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, provincial Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore implored that people be considerate as Ontario’s vaccine certificate program kicks in.
Doug Ford congratulated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on winning Monday’s election in an open letter before saying it was a contentious campaign.
“I understand your concerns about protecting your civil liberties and right to privacy. While many fully vaccinated people like myself share these concerns, the greater concern is having to shut down again or experience a sudden surge in cases like in Alberta and Saskatchewan,” Ford said.
New program launches Wednesday
Starting Wednesday, patrons at dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, sports facilities and other venues will need to present a receipt of full vaccination along with a form of government-issued identification. Doctors’ notes for medical exemptions will also be accepted.
The province aims to launch a QR code and verification app on Oct. 22 for businesses to streamline the process. Retail stores and services considered “essential,” like grocery stores, are exempt. Children under age 12 who can’t be vaccinated are also exempt, as are people under 18 entering facilities for organized sports.
The system also doesn’t apply to venue staff. Fines are on the table for businesses that don’t comply with the checks required by the system, and for patrons who give false information. But businesses, by-law officers, police forces and the province say enforcement will be gentle at first, meaning much of the heavy lifting will fall to businesses’ front-line staff.
Bulk of new cases in people not fully vaccinated Ontario meanwhile reported 574 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths related to the illness on Tuesday.
33, or 5.7 per cent, had a single dose. 140, or 24.4 per cent, had two doses.
351, or 61.1 per cent, were found in people who are unvaccinated. Of the reported cases today with a known vaccination status: