FAQs - City of Hamilton Proof of Vaccine
Updated October 26, 2021
What can I expect for vaccine verification when I visit a City recreation centre or arena?
Each person who enters an indoor facility for sports, recreation, meetings or events must show proof of vaccination and identification at the time of entry, which will be visually verified by staff. Verification is required for any individual who is not an employee working in or operating the facility.
When arriving at a facility, signage will indicate the main entrance. Vaccine verification is required when entering a facility, followed by contact and health screening. Please plan and adjust arrival times accordingly as you may experience wait times before entering. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Will my vaccination records or personal health information be kept or recorded?
No. Any vaccination records or documentation will only be visually verified - no information will be retained or copied. Vaccine Verification Screeners/Recreation Staff are trained to check identification and verify vaccine status based on provincial guidance.
If I am a regular user or just leaving the facility briefly and coming right back in, do I have to show my vaccine verification each time I enter the facility?
Yes. Businesses and organizations are not permitted to retain vaccine records or status, so individuals will be required to show their proof of vaccination each time they enter the facility.
What is acceptable proof of vaccination or identification?
Proof of vaccination, identification and exemption requirements are determined by the Ministry of Health. For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/ProofOfVaccination.
Identification is required to verify name and date of birth only.
- Must show Name and Date of Birth, issued from an institution or organization
- Does not need to include a picture
- Can be shown as a digital/electronical version (on a device)
- Can be expired
Do I need to show vaccine verification to accompany my child in the changerooms or on the pool deck?
Yes. The changeroom and pool deck are considered part of the recreation facility amenities and program spaces and as such, are areas where vaccine verification will be required for entry.
Do I need to show vaccine verification to use the washrooms in recreation facility?
No. Members of the public will be permitted to quickly use the closest non-changeroom washroom and exit the building.
What if I can no longer attend my program or accompany my child in the changerooms due to the vaccination requirements?
If you can no longer use your membership or attend a program that you or your child registered for as a result of the new vaccine verification requirements, you can receive a full refund and the cancellation fee will be waived. Refunds will be prorated for the remaining session or months. To cancel your program registration and/or request a refund, please email [email protected].
I am unvaccinated – can I still enter the recreation facility/arena?
The following vaccine exemptions apply to recreation facilities:
- Children under 12 years of age
- Participants of organized sports under 18 years of age (e.g. sport leagues, swim lessons and registered sport programs)
- Individuals with a medical exemption and supporting documentation from a physician/nurse
- Individuals using the washroom or passing through an indoor space to access outdoor space
- Retail or admission/membership purchases (without the intent to stay)
- Individuals accessing social services (i.e. health services, vaccine clinic, meal/food access)
Are youth required to show identification? What is acceptable identification?
Participants are not required to show identification if:
- Accessing a program intended for children under 12 years of age.
- Accessing an organized sport program for youth 13-17 years of age.
Participants 13-17 years of age accessing a non-organized sport program are required to show proof of vaccination and identification in accordance with the Ministry of Health. For more information, visit www.hamilton.ca/ProofOfVaccination.
Are paid coaches and staff required to show vaccine verification?
Yes. In City of Hamilton facilities, proof of vaccination is required for permit holders, their staff or volunteers, including coaches and officials. Anyone 18 years of age or older (for sport) or 12 years of age or older (for non-sport/spectators) must show proof of vaccination to enter the facility.
The worker exemption applies to City of Hamilton staff, volunteers, contractors, inspectors and/or delivery persons who are required to operate the facility.
What programs are included in the 12-17-year-old youth sport exemption?
The 12-17-year-old Organized Sport exemption includes participants of:
- School athletic programs
- Organization rentals or leagues for the purpose of sport or instructed lessons
- Registered lessons:
- Instructed sport 9-12 years of age
- Swimming Lessons and Bronze certifications
- Volleyball 13-17 years of age
- Girls who Play/Train 13-17 years of age
- Smash Raiders 12-14 years of age
The Organized Sport exemption does not include:
- National Lifeguard/First Aid certification
- Open Gym/Swim
- General Interest (music, arts) programs
- Fitness programs
What if I refuse to show vaccine verification?
No member of the public will be permitted to enter the facility without proof of vaccination or exemption.
The City of Hamilton has a Zero Tolerance policy. Anyone engaging in verbal assaults, threats or aggression, vandalism, or incitement of violence will be ejected from the property with a mandatory suspension from all municipal facilities. We ask that everyone attending a City recreation centre/arena contributes to a positive and supportive environment for children, their families, and community sport.
Are all public health measures still in place for settings that require Proof of Vaccination?
Physical distancing and reduced capacities are no longer required for facilities or events that require Proof of Vaccination.
Mask requirements, contact tracing, health screening and enhanced cleaning remains in place.
For more information, see the Recreation Safe Return to Play Plan: https://www.hamilton.ca/recreation/safe-return-play