This Version Posted: September 22, 2021

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter select, non-essential businesses and indoor settings in Ontario starting Sept. 22, 2021.

To Get Your Proof of Vaccination
  • If you received your COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario, visit the Province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or call 1-833-943-3900 to print or download your proof of vaccine.
  • If you were vaccinated outside of Ontario, you will need to register your receipt of vaccination. Email immunization@hkpr.on.ca with your full name, the province/country in which you received the vaccine, your health card number, date of birth, and attach a clear photo of your vaccine receipt.

Provincial Resources

Access these resources for more information or read further down this page:


On This Page:

Affected Businesses/Indoor Settings

Starting Sept. 22, 2021, you must provide a COVID-19 vaccine certificate if you want to enter any of these businesses/public settings:

  • 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 and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
  • 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.

Limited Exemptions

People who enter an indoor area for short periods to use a washroom, access an outdoor area, pay their bill, place or pick up a takeout order, or purchase an admission do not need to show proof of vaccination. Get a full list of who is exempted from these rules here.

Businesses Not Affected

NOTE: Proof of vaccination is also not required for retail shopping and outdoor dining or to enter workplaces, grocery stores, places of worship, pharmacies, banks and other essential settings. 

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Timing of Rules
  • In advance of September 22, 2021, you can print or download your COVID-19 vaccination receipt here. If you do not have a computer or printer, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 for help. Alternatively, you can visit a local library or ask a trusted friend or organization to help print a copy.
  • As of September 22, 2021, you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two doses plus 14 days) and provide a proof of vaccination. You must also provide a proof of identity (like a birth certificate, driver’s licence or health card) so that the business and organization know the vaccination receipt belongs to you.
  • By October 22, 2021, an enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the unique QR code, will be available. The Ontario government is currently working on this new system, with more details to be announced soon. Ontario’s proof of vaccination guidance will be updated to reflect the new process.
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Exemptions to Vaccine Certificates

The following individuals are exempt from the new rules:

  • Children under age 12 (who are not currently eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines)
  • Individuals who cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to limited medical exemptions. To enter a premise, these individuals must provide a doctor’s/nurse practitioner’s note that explains the medical reason and the effective time-period in which it’s covered.
  • Someone who enters an indoor area solely for the following purposes: to use a washroom; to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route; to make a retail purchase; to place or pick up a takeout order; to place a bet or pick up winnings (in the case of a horse racing track); while paying for an order; to purchase admission; or for the purposes of health and safety
  • Youth under age 18 years of age who are participating in an indoor organized sport (including training, practices, games and competition)
  • Workers, contractors, repair workers, delivery workers, students, volunteers, inspectors or others who are entering the business or organization for work purposes and not as patrons/customers.

NOTE: For a limited time period (from September 22 to October 13, 2021), anyone attending an indoor social gathering associated with weddings and funerals (in meeting and event spaces) may provide a negative result of a COVID-19 antigen test instead of proof of being fully vaccinated.

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Penalties for Not Complying
  • If you do not provide proof of being fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed into the business or setting.
  • Individuals and businesses could also face a fine of about $750 and $1,000, respectively, for non-compliance.
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COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Q&A

Please note: information provided is not legal advice and is to be used for guidance purposes only.

What businesses and organizations are covered by the new Proof of Vaccination regulation?
  1. The indoor areas of restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  2. The indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs, restoclubs and other similar establishments, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  3. The indoor areas of meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres, but not including places described in subsection 4 (2) of this Schedule.
  4. The indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks and personal physical fitness trainers, including, for greater certainty, the indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events, but not including places described in subsection 16 (4) of Schedule 2.
  5. The indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.
  6. The indoor areas of concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
  7. The indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs.
  8. The indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
  9. The indoor areas of places where commercial film and television production takes place, where there is a studio audience. For the purposes of this paragraph, a member of the studio audience is considered to be a patron of the production.
What qualifies as an event venue and conference centre?

Any indoor areas of meeting and event spaces including banquet halls, conference centres or convention centres. Although, the regulations do not apply if the space is rented out to overnight camps for children, licensed childcare, social services, court, government operations, or government services.

What if a business or community organization wishes to hold an event at their place of business, i.e., a museum or retail store?

Proof of vaccination would be required as it would be an indoor meeting or event space.

Are there any types of events that are exempt, for example: workshops or meetings where people remain masked, socially distanced and no food and drink are served?

The Proof of Vaccination regulation does not apply where a patron is entering an indoor area solely,

  1. to use a washroom, to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route, to make a retail purchase, while placing or picking up an order (including placing a bet or picking up winnings in the case of a horse racing track), while paying for an order, to purchase admission, or as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  2. who are under 18 years of age, and who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities solely for the purpose of actively participating in an organized sport, in accordance with guidance published by the Ministry of Health on its website for the purposes of this provision.
  3. who provide a written document, completed and supplied by a physician or registered nurse in the extended class, that sets out, in accordance with the Ministry’s guidance.
  4. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, solely for the purposes of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, but not an associated social gathering.
  5. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space that is located in a place of worship or in a funeral establishment, cemetery, crematorium or similar establishment that provides funeral, cemetery or cremation services and that is operated by a person licensed under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony; or
  6. who are entering the indoor premises of a meeting or event space other than a place described in clause (e), including a conference centre or convention centre, for the purposes of attending a social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony, on or after September 22, 2021, but before October 13, 2021, as long as the patron produces the results of an antigen test administered within the previous 48 hours establishing that the person is negative for COVID-19 to the person responsible for the establishment.
What if a venue has a request for a private party and they wish to include their unvaccinated family and friends? Is this allowed if it is a completely private event?

The person responsible for a business or an organization that is open shall require each patron who enters an area of the premises, at the point of entry, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Essentially, private event or not, the venue hosting will still be required to obtain proof of vaccination.

What is the liability of the event venue if, despite best efforts, the renter does not properly manage the situation with their patrons?

The business owner and/or organization are still responsible for complying with the proof of vaccination requirements. If the renter cannot properly manage gathering proof of vaccination, the responsibility then falls on the owner/organization.

Can a business allow entry to someone who does not want to comply with the regulation?

All businesses listed must comply. Patrons who decide to “boycott” a business would not be allowed into the business without proof of vaccination. Patrons should keep in mind that businesses will face serious fines and risk being shut down should they not follow the regulations.

What will the fines be for businesses and patrons who do not comply?

Business will be fined $1,000 plus surcharge, individuals will be fined $750 plus surcharge.

Is a naturopathic doctor acceptable for a medical exemption letter?

A naturopathic doctor is acceptable for a medical exception letter if they are registered with College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Friendly reminder that only certain medical exemptions will apply.

Will the enforcement officers be visiting establishments unannounced and checking patrons’ proof of immunization or will it be based on complaints?

HKPRDHU will first provide education to owners and organizations. Once given time to implement, law enforcement may decide to do unannounced check-ins to ensure the regulation is being properly enforced.

What is going to be done to assist seniors, those with developmental delays or cognitive challenges, and people without accessible technology with navigating these new systems?

HKPRDHU has been working with local partners such as libraries to assist people with finding proof of vaccination and encourages anyone in need of assistance to call 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020.

Have you been provided with any guidance about what kind of data or framework must be met for the mandates to end? Such as case numbers, vaccination stats, hospitalizations, etc.

None as of September 21, 2021.

In regards to member-based organizations, there is concern about the cost in volunteer or staff time to check vaccination status every single time a member enters the building. As a compromise one organization suggested they could check each person once and then give the member a card to show on future visits rather than the more onerous vax cert. process. Will this be acceptable?

A business or organization cannot provide a “Fast Pass.” The government is currently working on an approved vaccination passport.

Does proof of vaccination apply to staff/employees?

Proof of vaccination only applies to patrons, not to staff. Although, employers are encouraged to implement immunization policies for their staff. Information can be found at www.hkpr.on.ca and ministry websites.

Are Provincial Offence Officers (by-law, police Ministry of Labour inspectors, public health inspectors) required to provide proof of vaccination?

No, while on duty conducting business, they would not be deemed to be a patron.

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Additional Resources
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