A VACCINATION PASSPORT? WTF is this all about?

THE GROVE HOTEL | JOE. Hot+Cold Coffee. Unique accommodations in southwest Ontario

A VACCINATION PASSPORT? WTF is this all about?

We find it hard to believe that there may be individuals out there that haven’t heard about the Ontario government’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate program that will come into effect on September 22, but if you are like us, and remain a little confused, we are here to answer your FAQs about the new plan (or as we understand it, anyway).

If I chose not to be vaccinated, can I still stay at The Grove Hotel?

Guests in hotels or motels are not required to show proof of vaccination.  We have made the choice to provide both our guests and team members a pre-screening questionnaire which includes questions regarding illness, travel and self-isolation recommendations – in other words, if you are not sick or a high-risk, then we are very happy to continue to welcome you to The Grove Hotel – vaccinated or not.  This screening questionnaire is a procedure that we have had in place for the last year, and we will continue to use this process for the foreseeable future.

Please note that all businesses do have the right to chose their own policies and procedures for both visitors and staff.  If there is a specific establishment that you plan to visit, we would suggest that you contact them directly if you have any questions.  If our policies change, trust us, you will be the first to know.

What are the businesses where patrons must provide proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated?

  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
  • Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs, restoclubs, and other similar establishments
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions
  • Includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
  • Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
  • Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences

Are there any proof of vaccination requirements for wineries, breweries and distilleries?

Patrons of all restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments (excluding outdoor patios, takeout, and delivery) must provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the point of entry.

Are outdoor areas covered by tents, canopies, retractable roofs, etc. considered indoor or outdoor settings?

A setting is considered to be outdoors if an outdoor area of the business or place is:

  • Covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning, or other element if at least two full sides of the area are open to the outdoors and not blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers; or
  • Equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor area is open to the outdoors and is not blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.

It is possible to have indoor spaces in an outdoor setting (e.g., indoor food or drink establishment at a fair).

Currently, quick service restaurants (QSR) are not required to collect patron information for contact tracing. Will QSRs be required to collect patron information for contact tracing when the vaccine certificate system is implemented?

As per O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit, Schedule 2, Section 1, the collection of patron information for contact tracing is not required for:

  • A patron who temporarily enters a food establishment to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order,
  • An establishment which requires all dine-in patrons to order or select their food or drink at a counter, food bar or cafeteria line and pay before receiving their order.

The collection of patron information for contact tracing will not be required in the above circumstances, even as vaccination certificates are implemented. The collection of patron information for contact tracing is required for all other restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments.

Do I need to bring both receipts or just my second dose receipt to show proof of vaccination?

  • A patron seeking access to a business or organization specified in the regulation must provide a receipt that shows that they are fully vaccinated.
  • Between September 22 and October 22, 2021, in addition to proof of identity, a patron must show a paper or digital version of the PDF receipt.
  • After October 22, 2021, in addition to proof of identity, a patron may present a paper or digital version of the PDF receipt or a paper or digital version of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code to gain access to designated settings.

The receipts that can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website have a watermark. Is that version required to have my proof of vaccination accepted?

All versions of the receipt are acceptable as proof of vaccination when paired with proof of identification.

I’m not comfortable showing all my personal information on my receipt. Am I able to block certain information out?

Altering the appearance of the receipt you receive as proof of vaccination in any way is not permitted and could render the receipt invalid.

Does a previous COVID-19 infection or a recent negative test allow people who are not fully vaccinated to be considered fully vaccinated?

A negative COVID-19 test or recent COVID-19 infection is not the same as being fully vaccinated.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends individuals with prior COVID-19 infection be immunized as it protects them reinfection given the emergency of new strains, variants of concern (VOCs), etc.

How does someone prove they are fully vaccinated if documents are from out of province or out of country?

Patrons from outside the province or the country will be required to show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and identification to enter specified settings.

Proof of vaccination from outside of Ontario will be accepted if the person’s name and date of birth on their identification document matches the vaccination receipt with name and date of birth and if the person is fully vaccinated against COVID.

Individuals visiting from outside the province or the country will be required to show their full vaccination status and identification to enter the specified settings. This may require showing one or more pieces of information. Ontario residents who received their first dose or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine outside Ontario or Canada can register their vaccination records through their local public health unit.

If the vaccination receipt or proof of identity from out of country is in a language that the business or organization cannot use to verify the documents, the business or organization may request a translated copy in addition to the original receipt.

How will these new requirements be enforced?

The enforcement of the proof of vaccine requirements will be a graduated approach with emphasis on education, promotion, and localized compliance and enforcement as required. This measured approach to enforcement has been featured throughout the province’s pandemic response. Provincial offences officers involved in ROA enforcement utilize both proactive approaches based on data and advice from the local public health unit, as well as reactive responses to complaints and issues.


That’s it folks!  We hope that you have found this information helpful.  We think we’ve covered all the basics but we would certainly encourage you to reach out to any establishment directly if you have questions.

For additional information, we would refer you to the pros at the MINISTRY OF HEALTH.