Ford urges patience with Ontario's proof-of-vaccination system

Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is asking residents to be patient with businesses owners and frontline staff as the province's COVID-19 vaccine certificate system takes effect.

Ford, who emphasized that he had been reluctant to introduce the system, says vaccine certificates will help avoid another lockdown during the pandemic.

"What keeps me up at night is ensuring that we never lose our hard fought progress," he says. "We can't afford to shut down again or experience a sudden surge in cases like we're seeing in other provinces across the country."

Starting today, patrons need to show proof of vaccination and government identification to access some high-risk settings including restaurant dining rooms, gyms and other venues.

Ford says he truly believes these certificates are the best chance to move through the coming months without having to move backwards.

"Let me be very clear, this is a temporary and exception measure," he says. "We will only use these certificates for as long as they're needed and not one day longer."

Ford also says today and in the weeks ahead, each of us must remain patient especially with business owners and frontline workers.

"They've gone through so much during this pandemic and deserve our support," he says. "As we begin this vaccine certificate, there will be a period of learning."

There are penalties for non-compliance but Ford says enforcement will take an educational approach at first.

Ford says he's also having discussions with the province's top doctor about the possibility of increasing capacity limits for businesses that must now abide by the policy.