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Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

COVID-19 ‘remains an emergency,’ Ford says ahead of vaccine certificate deadline

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 @ 3:20 PM | By Amanda Jerome

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a statement the day before step one of the province’s proof of vaccination policy comes into effect urging people to get their COVID-19 shots and stressing that the virus “doesn’t care about partisanship or politics.”

Ford acknowledged that “there are a lot of people who are concerned” about the proof of vaccination policy.

Premier Doug Ford

“I want you to know that I hear you. I understand your concerns about protecting your civil liberties and right to privacy. While many fully vaccinated people like myself share these concerns, the greater concern is having to shut down again or experience a sudden surge in cases like in Alberta and Saskatchewan,” he explained.

The premier noted that the “pandemic remains an emergency and there are real-world consequences of not acting.”

“We must continue to do everything we can to protect our hard-fought progress so that we can provide businesses the stability they need and deserve. We need to do everything in our power to avoid future lockdowns and closures. That is why we are bringing in these exceptional measures on a temporary basis and will end them as soon as they can be responsibly removed,” he added.

Ford noted that with so many Ontarians “rolling up their sleeve to get vaccinated,” the province is “flattening the fourth wave, allowing us to help our neighbours in need.”

“Alberta was there for Ontario earlier in the pandemic when we needed critical equipment and we will be there for them now,” he said, urging “anyone who hasn’t gotten their shot, please do so as soon as you can.”

“I want to be clear: COVID-19 doesn’t care about partisanship or politics and I will continue to work closely with the prime minister. People elected our government to work in the best interests of Ontario, not in service of one political party over others. That’s exactly what our government will continue to do as we do everything possible to protect our people and our progress,” he concluded.

Ontario announced its proof of vaccination policy on Sept. 1. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for some services, including restaurants and bars; nightclubs; meeting and event spaces; sporting facilities and gyms; sporting events; casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments; concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas; strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs; and racing venues.

The government’s Sept. 1 announcement noted that to be fully vaccinated an individual must have two doses of COVID-19 vaccination plus 14 days after the last dose.

Ontarians will need to provide proof of vaccination “along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities.” The government noted that an “enhanced vaccine certificate, as well as a verification app to allow businesses to read the QR code, will be available beginning October 22.”

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