Ontario opens up booster shots for 18 and up starting Monday, also announces new capacity limits

Published December 16, 2021

Ontario opens up booster shots for 18 and up starting Monday

Ontario announced Wednesday that it’s accelerating its COVID-19 booster shot rollout with everyone 18 or older eligible to book their third vaccine dose starting Monday, December 20th. You can book your vaccine appointment using the provincial website. Pharmacies will also be accepting walk-ins for anyone over 18 to receive their third booster shot as of Friday, December 17th

The province is also shortening the interval required to wait before getting a booster from six months to three months after a second dose and is launching a holiday testing blitz with free rapid antigen tests available as of Wednesday at pop-up sites, including malls and libraries, as well as some LCBO stores.  

You can find more details on Ontario’s holiday testing blitz here

To book your vaccine appointment using the provincial online portal, click here. For a list of pharmacies where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

The Federal government also introduced new restrictions for those traveling abroad today. These included a 4-week travel advisory asking Canadians to avoid non-essential international travel that risks them being stranded abroad. Arrival testing will also be expanded to as many travelers as possible

Capacity limits for many venues holding 1,000 people or more reduced to 50% starting Saturday 12:01 a.m. (December 18th, 2021) for INDOOR Settings only.

Those venues include: facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities; entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas; racing venues; meeting and event spaces; studio audiences in commercial film and television production; museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and fair, rural exhibitions, and festivals

The restrictions come into effect this Saturday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

See the province’s proof of vaccination requirements and enhance public health measures. This includes the following measures:
  • Delaying the lifting of proof of vaccination requirements beyond January 17, 2022, aligned with the reopening plan that stipulated that doing so was contingent on the absence of concerning trends.
  • Effective January 4, 2022, requiring the use of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is required. The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy. Individuals can download their enhanced certificate with QR code by visiting https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
  • Strengthening the verification process for medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions by requiring a certificate with a QR code. Organizations and businesses that are under the provincial proof-of-vaccination system will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022.
  • Effective December 20, 2021, requiring proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years participating in organized sports at recreational facilities.
  • On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontarians are strongly advised to limit their social gatherings and the number of gatherings they attend over the holiday season. Additional precautions should be taken if all individuals are not fully vaccinated or where vaccination status is unknown. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

The full suite of measures is outlined in the backgrounder.

General Compliance still applies.
  • Active screens are still require and the mask mandate is still in effect.
  • Workers must social distance when eating or drinking in the workplace when face mask are removed.
  • Proof of vaccinate still applies in certain settings.
  • Social Distancing is still require when in public business, (does not include members of the same household)
  • Starting today, individuals who have an eligible medical exemption or are participating in an active Health Canada Approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial can begin a new verification process and have it integrated into a certificate with QR code. Organizations and businesses that require provincial proof-of-vaccination system will no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022.

For public inquiries, please contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007).

For resources in multiple languages to help local communication efforts in responding to COVID-19, visit Ontario’s COVID-19 communication resources webpage.

Have questions about the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine? Contact the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line at 1-833-943-3900, or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.

Minister of Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Lisa MacLeod