Ontario announces changes to the proof of vaccination system as Omicron cases escalate
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer held a press conference and announced a number of changes to the government’s plans moving forward. Here are some of the key changes to be aware of:
- Booster shot eligibility will be changing again on January 4, 2022. At that point, all Ontarians 18+ will be eligible for a booster shot 168 days (approximately six months) after receiving their second dose.
- Ontario will not be ending the vaccine certificate program in mid-January and has now extended the program indefinitely.
- Proof-of-vaccination will have to be shown with QR codes starting January 4, 2022. Other forms of proof of vaccination will no longer be allowed.
- While we don’t have firm dates yet, the province will be moving to ensure that QR codes are actually verified with the Verify Ontario app.
- Starting January 10, 2022, medical exemptions will also require QR code verification. In order to get one, residents will need to register their medical exemption with the local health authority who will then input it into the system.
- Children aged 12 to 17 participating in sports or recreational activities will be required to provide proof of vaccination starting December 20, 2021.
- Ontario is also determining whether to change what constitutes being “fully vaccinated” and specifically if that will require a booster shot.
- The Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising Ontarians to limit their social gatherings, and the number of gatherings they attend over the holiday season.
- Employers are encouraged to make “every effort” to allow employees to work from home.