Ontario government planning changes to proof of COVID vaccination system: sources

Customers show their proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering the seating area of a food court at a shopping centre in Mississauga on Oct. 7, 2021. Zou Zheng/Xinhua via ZUMA Press

Global News has learned the Ontario government plans to announce changes to the province’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination system on Friday.

Two high-ranking government officials confirmed details in stories first reported by the Toronto Sun and CBC News, which indicate that the provincial government plans to make the QR code receipt the only means of showing proof of vaccination.

The original vaccination receipts, which have been susceptible to fraud, would no longer be accepted.

The date as to when this would take effect has not yet been determined.

Additionally, the officials said that the government is planning to extend the use of the proof of vaccination system beyond Jan. 17, which is when the province previously indicated the measure would start to be lifted in certain settings.

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The government has always said that the reopening plan was contingent on public health trends.

Part of the province’s reopening plan is already on hold. The government had initially intended to lift capacity limits on Nov. 15 in “higher-risk settings” where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs and strip clubs.

That was paused on Nov. 10, and then again on Tuesday.

COVID-19 cases have been rising in Ontario recently, with 1,290 cases being reported on Thursday, the largest single-day jump since late May.

However, the number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 has remained relatively stable, though earlier this week the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table warned that cases and ICU admissions are expected to rise.

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— with files from Gabby Rodrigues

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