ONTARIO ROLLS OUT ENHANCED COVID-19 VACCINE CERTIFICATE WITH QR CODE AND VERIFY ONTARIO APP FOR BUSINESS
Today the Ontario government rolled out the promised QR code system for proving and verifying vaccination status in the settings where proof of vaccination is required such as meeting and event spaces, including conference and convention centres. The official press release is available here.
In advance of the announcement, CAEM attended a technical briefing led by representatives from several ministries explaining the Enhanced Vaccine Certificate and Verify Ontario scanner app. You can find the presentation deck from the technical briefing here. It contains valuable information which will assist in the implementation of this process. We have included the general highlights from the briefing below:
- Starting today (October 15) Ontarians can download their Enhanced Vaccine Certificate with Official QR Code. This process is being done in cohorts according to birth month until October 18th – on this date the portal will open to any individual to download their vaccine certificate regardless of birth month. Details available here.
- People can save the electronic version of their vaccine certificate to their phone or print a paper copy. Businesses must accept both the electronic and paper versions as proof of vaccination.
- People can continue to use their current vaccine receipt (without QR code) if they feel more comfortable doing so and businesses must accept this form of proof of vaccination. However, the province is encouraging individuals to download their enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code as an easier, more secure and convenient way to have their proof of vaccination verified.
- Ontarians will continue to need to show a piece of government issued identification with their name and date of birth, along with their enhanced vaccine certificate in order to gain entry to the businesses where proof of vaccination is required. Businesses will be required to match patron's name and date of birth to their enhanced vaccine certificate.
- Verify Ontario is the free QR code scanner for businesses that makes it quicker and easier to confirm patrons have been vaccinated. The scanner works on Apple and Android devices and is available for download now.
- At this point, medical exemptions have not been embedded in the QR code so people will need to continue to show proof of medical exemption from a medical doctor or registered nurse in paper form along with a piece of identification. The government anticipates medical exemptions will be updated in the QR code sometime in November and the Verify Ontario app will be updated accordingly.
- The Verify Ontario scanner app is compatible with the BC, Yukon, and Quebec proof of vaccine QR codes. These provinces, as well as Ontario, have adapted the Smart Health Card Standard and this is why their QR codes are compatible. As more provinces adapt the Smart Health Card Standard for their proof of vaccination cards, these provinces will be added to the Verify Ontario scanner app. Paper proof of vaccination will need to be checked for patrons from provinces other than BC, Yukon, Quebec, and Ontario.
- Verify Ontario is the only app that the Government of Ontario endorses for use. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to download and use the free app.
The visual below provides a concise overview of the process.