Ontario's proof of vaccination system begins: What Ottawa residents need to know

Ontario's new COVID-19 vaccination passport takes effect on Wednesday, requiring people to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to access non-essential businesses in Ottawa and across Ontario.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at what you need to know about the COVID-19 proof of vaccination program in Ottawa.

What is the COVID-19 proof of vaccination system?

Effective Sept. 22, Ontario will require patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access certain non-essential businesses and settings.

Children under 12 will not need to show proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses. 

How do I show proof of vaccination?

The Ontario government says individuals aged 12 and older can provide either a paper or digital copy of their vaccination receipt. It must include name, date of vaccination and product name at the time of vaccination.

You can download your COVID-19 vaccination receipt from Ontario's provincial booking portal.

You must also prove the vaccine receipt is yours by providing government issued identification that includes your name and date of birth.

Exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccination system?

Exemptions to the proof of COVID-19 vaccination regulation include:

  • Children under 12
  • Youth under age 18 participating in indoor organized sports, including training practices, games and competitions
  • People with a medical exemption will be permitted entry to non-essential businesses and settings without proof of vaccination. The Ontario government says there are only two valid medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines. 

Where you need to show proof of vaccination in Ottawa and eastern Ontario

  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance floors
  • Indoor and outdoor areas of nightclubs and bars (including patio areas)
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities
  • Sporting events
  • Indoor gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Movie theatres and cinemas
  • Indoor areas of concert venues
  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
  • Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences

 Where you won't need proof of vaccination in Ottawa and eastern Ontario

  • Health and safety purposes, including medical care
  • Restaurant patios
  • Takeout and delivery services from restaurants and bars
  • Personal care services, including salons and barber shops
  • Retail shopping
  • Grocery shopping
  • Banks
  • Places of worship
  • Wedding and funeral services, rites or ceremonies

The Ontario government says a patron entering an indoor area at an establishment requiring proof of vaccination solely for the following purposes does not need to show proof of vaccination:

  • Use a washroom
  • Access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route
  • Placing or picking up an order
  • Paying for an order
  • To purchase admission 

All other public health measures (masking and physical distancing) apply to all patrons.

Can Quebec residents visit Ottawa restaurants and sporting facilities?

Fully vaccinated residents of Quebec and other jurisdictions will be allowed to enter non-essential facilities in Ottawa, with proof of vaccination.

The Ontario government says a vaccination receipt from another jurisdiction that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can be shown.

You must also show photo identification.

Ottawa sporting events/facilities

  • Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has announced that all guests (12 and older) and event staff of indoor and outdoor ticketed events must be fully vaccinated. Guests and employees will need to provide proof of vaccination along with photo ID to enter TD Place and TD Place Arena.
  • The Ottawa Senators say only fully vaccinated individuals will be permitted inside Canadian Tire Centre for Senators games this season. Fans must provide proof of full vaccination along with photo ID to enter the arena
  • The National Arts Centre says as of Sept. 22, only fully vaccinated patrons will be permitted inside the NAC for performances, meetings, events and to access the restaurant.
  • The University of Ottawa says all patrons accessing the uOttawa campus for events must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Rideau Carleton Casino

The Rideau Carleton Casino says as of Sept. 22, visitors will require proof of full vaccination to enter the casino at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

This measure is in addition to the current screening, contact tracing and Safe and Sound protocols that are currently in place at Rideau Carleton Casino, future home of Hard Rock.

Rideau Centre

The Rideau Centre says proof of vaccination will be mandatory to dine in the Ottawa mall's food court and restaurants.

Patrons will need to show proof of vaccination and a government issued ID.

Museums

 

Proof of vaccination is not required to visit exhibition areas of museums in Ottawa.

Visitors 12 and older must provide proof of vaccination to access the eating area inside museums.

The Canadian War Museum says you will also be required to show proof of accination to attend events on site.

 

City of Ottawa services

The city of Ottawa says starting Sept. 22, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required for those 12 and older to enter municipal recreation and cultural facilities.

You will need to be fully vaccinated to access the following indoor recreational and cultural activities:

  • Lane and public swims
  • Fitness classes – including Aquafit
  • Weight/Cardio drop-ins
  • Instructional cooking, music or art classes
  • Adult sports or drop-in activities
  • Theatre or studio performance or cinema
  • Rented spaces

Adults who accompany children or youth into a facility for activities will require proof they have been fully vaccinated, including for swimming lessons and Learn-to-Skate activities.

The following city facilities and in-person services do not require proof of vaccination:

  • Service Ottawa Client Service Centres
  • Building Code Services
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Ottawa Public Library branches – with possible exceptions for meeting and program rooms
  • OC Transpo and the O-Train, including services 
  • Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices
  • Business Licensing Centre
  • Provincial Offence Act Court