Chamber of Commerce will embrace province's vaccine passport system

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The President & CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rakesh Naidu, says they will welcome the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine passport in Ontario.

The planned system would limit access to non-essential services based on vaccination status, but it has to go before cabinet for discussion before any announcement can be made.

Naidu says they've spoken about the need to have one common system in place across the province over the last few months.

"From that perspective this is a good development," he continued. "You know, we hold the position that anything we can do to avoid a catastrophic lockdown again is something that we should explore further."

Naidu says it's about time that this is brought in, because a lot of non-essential businesses run the risk of major challenges if they were forced to shutdown again.

Since the reports started surfacing late last week, he says they've heard from members that they need certainty on where things will be heading.

"Anything that we can put in place that protects the community and that lends the businesses an opportunity to remain open is something our business community has always welcomed. It will be embraced," Naidu said.

Another common response from businesses in the city is that the onus of implementation of the system cannot be downloaded on businesses themselves.

Naidu says members are worried about what rising case counts might mean, which puts the focus back on potential solutions.

"We need to do our part to keep the numbers down. Businesses and everyone is being very pragmatic about how do we approach things. Lockdown is not an option, so what can we do. Can we use things like the rapid test kits that the chamber has been offering? Should we have vaccine passports, so this development is really welcome."

The provincial government will unveil details about the COVID-19 vaccine passport system sometime this week, following provinces like Quebec and British Colombia.