Proof of Vaccination

As of September 22, 2021 at 12:01 am, Ontario residents will need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, along with proof of identification to access certain businesses and settings.

Ministry guidance for businesses

Higher-risk public settings where proof of vaccination is required in:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities (including dine-in indoor food courts, breweries, wineries): indoor areas (excluding delivery and takeout)
  • Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments with dance facilities , including nightclubs and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments: indoor and outdoor areas (excluding delivery and takeout)
  • Meeting and event spaces (including banquet halls, conference and convention centres): indoor areas regardless of capacity and outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more persons
  • Facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training (including gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events): indoor areas regardless of capacity and outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more persons
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments: indoor areas
  • Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas: indoor areas regardless of capacity and outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more persons
  • Bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs: indoor areas
  • Horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues: indoor areas regardless of capacity and outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more persons
  • Commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences: indoor areas, excluding cast and crew

All other public health measures remain in effect such as masking, capacity limits, screening, physical distancing and contact tracing, as required.

Exemptions and definitions

Exemptions from the proof of vaccination requirement include (but are not limited to):

  • Children under age 12.
  • Youth under age 18 actively participating in organized sport, including training, practices, games and competitions. For example, sports league, organized pick-up sports, dance classes, martial arts, swimming classes. There is not an exemption for youth spectators.
  • Patrons with a medical exemption.

These individuals will be permitted entry without proof of vaccination.

Medical exemptions
Patrons who provide a written document, completed and supplied by a physician (designated as “MD”) or by a registered nurse in the extended class (designated as “Registered Nurse (Extended Class)”, “RN(EC)”, “Nurse Practitioner” or “NP”) stating that the individual is exempt for a medical reason from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the effective time-period for the medical reason do not have to show proof of vaccination.

Patrons with a medical exemption are required to present identification and a written document stating the individual is exempt for a medical reason to the business or organization. Read the Ministry guidance on medical exemptions. To review proof of a medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19, the business or organization must ensure:

  • The name of the person in the written documentation matches the identification provided.
  • The physician’s or registered nurse in the extended class’s information is complete by including:
    • Name and contact information of the physician or registered nurse in the extended class;
    • Logo or letterhead identifying the physician or registered nurse in the extended class;
    • Statement that there is a medical reason for the individual’s exemption    from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19; and
    • Any effective time-period for the medical reason which includes the date the patron is seeking access to the business or organization.

Individuals with medical exemptions will not be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Work is currently underway to integrate medical exemptions into vaccine certificates with QR codes.

Other exemptions
Other limited exemptions apply in meeting and event spaces (e.g., day camp, child care, social services, court services, government services).

An individual is considered fully vaccinated if they have received:

  • The full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines (i.e., 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine)
  • One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada
  • Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada
  • They received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated.

Settings

Patrons who are at a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, solely for the purpose of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, do not have to show proof of vaccination.  

Patrons who are at 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 do not have to show proof of vaccination.

Requirements for weddings and funerals

Event Location Proof of Vaccination

Funerals

Funeral service, rite or ceremony

Any setting (including meeting or event spaces, places of worship, funeral establishments)

Not required

Social gatherings (e.g. receptions) associated with funeral service, rite or ceremony Meeting or event spaces located in places of worship, funeral establishments, ceremonies, a crematorium and similar establishments

Not required

Other meeting or event spaces (e.g., conference & convention centres)

Required

Event Location Proof of Vaccination

Weddings

Wedding service, rite or ceremony

Any setting (including meeting or event spaces, places of worship)

Not required

Social gatherings (e.g, receptions) associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony Any meeting or event spaces (including conference or convention centres, places of worship)

Required

No proof of vaccination required

  • Youth under age 18 actively participating in organized sport, including training, practices, games and competitions do not have to provide proof of vaccination. For example, sports league, organized pick-up sports, dance classes, martial arts, swimming classes.
  • For workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials at private sports facilities, however, some sports organizations and associations may have more stringent rules with respect to proof of vaccination that participants and others will need to follow.

Proof of vaccination required

  • Adult patrons (age 18+) accessing the facility for any purpose, including parents or guardians of youth participating in an organized sport are required to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the point of entry.
  • Youth spectators age 12 and above will need to show proof of vaccination.
  • Youth who are using a gym or other area with exercise equipment or weights must show proof of vaccination unless actively participating in an organized sport.
  • For all patrons, including but not limited to permit holders, coaches, officials, sports team staff members or volunteers using City of Hamilton facilities. Learn more.

Requirements for indoor sports and recreational facilities

Setting Activity Proof of Vaccination
Indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreational fitness activities

Youth under 18 years of age actively participating in an organized sport, including training, practices, games and competitions. Examples include:

  • sport leagues
  • organized pick-up sports
  • dance classes
  • martial arts
  • swimming classes
Not required
  • Youth under 18 years of age using a gym or other area with exercise equipment or weighs
     
  • Youth spectating, including at sporting events
     
  • Adult patrons (18+) accessing the facility for any purpose including parents or guardians of youth participating in an organized sport
Required

Rules for City of Hamilton recreation centres and arenas

Proof of vaccination will be required in select indoor public settings: Restaurants and bars, Nightclubs and casinos, Meeting and event spacesm Gyms, fitness and recreational facilities.

Proof of vaccination and identification

Individuals aged 12 and over, unless exempt, can provide either a paper or digital copy of the vaccination receipt that demonstrates they are fully vaccinated (see above for definition). It must include name, date of vaccination and product name (brand of vaccine). A vaccination receipt includes any of the following:

  • An Ontario vaccination receipt from a vaccine clinic when you received your dose (paper copy)
  • A vaccination receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider
  • An Ontario Ministry of Health vaccination receipt received by email following your appointment (digital or printed paper copy)
  • Downloaded vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal or obtained by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (digital or printed paper copy)
  • A vaccination receipt from another jurisdiction that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19

All versions of the receipt are acceptable as proof of vaccination (watermarked or unwatermarked), along with proof of your identification. Your identification needs to be issued by an institution or public body that includes your name and date of birth, such as a driver’s licence or health card. If you cannot provide proof of vaccination and appropriate ID, you will not be permitted to enter the settings outlined above.

Altering the appearance of the receipt you receive as proof of vaccination in any way is not permitted and could render the receipt invalid.

Businesses and organizations should not retain any information provided by the patron with regard to proof of vaccination. This includes potentially storing vaccination details in an individual’s file. These requirements will help ensure the protection of an individual’s health information.

From September 22 to October 22, 2021
All patrons must show a paper or digital version of the PDF vaccination receipt to enter high-risk premises outlined above.

After October 22, 2021
After October 22, 2021, in addition to proof of identity, a patron may present a paper or digital version of the PDF vaccination receipt or a paper or digital version of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code to gain access to designated settings.

The enhanced vaccine certificate can be printed or stored on your phone, and the QR code allows it to be quickly scanned by businesses using the app.

Starting October 18 at 6 am, the COVID-19 vaccination portal will open for any individual to download their enhanced vaccine certificate. Individuals can also call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have their enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to them.

A verification app (Verify Ontario) will allow businesses or organizations to read the QR code after October 22. This app works with Apple (iOS 11+/iPhone 5S) and Android 6+ devices. Businesses can download for free from Google Play and Apple app. The app is compatible with other provincial QR codes.

When the app scans a QR code, there are three possible results:

  1. Verified: This vaccine certificate meets the Ontario requirements for entry. The patron is fully vaccinated. Confirm this person’s name and date of birth with a piece of identification.
  2. Invalid certificate: This certificate does not meet one of the criteria to allow entry.
  3. There is a problem or Not a government-issued certificate: The scan failed because:
  • The QR code is damaged, creased, or has been altered in some fashion;
  • The QR code is issued by a province, territory or country that uses a different type of QR code; or
  • QR code is issued by a non-government service.

In the case of 2 and 3, the patron may not enter the premises, unless an alternative proof of vaccination can be provided (i.e., the PDF version in electronic or paper formats). The app provides guidance on how to assist the patron with the issue.

Vaccination receipts are available as a PDF to be downloaded to your computer, phone or tablet, or printed.

If you have a green Ontario photo health card
If you have a green Ontario photo health card, you can download or print your vaccination receipt from the provincial booking portal, or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to request a copy of your vaccination receipt.

If you have a red and white health card
If you have a red and white health card call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre 1-833-943-3900 to have your vaccine receipt emailed to you.

If you do not have a health card
If you do not have a health card, call Hamilton Public Health Services Vaccine Hotline at 905-974-9848, option 7 to have your identify verified and to receive a COVID ID/Personal Access Code. 

If you do not have an address
If you do not have an address, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre 1-833-943-3900 and your vaccination receipt can be delivered to a trusted friend, family member or community organization.

If you want a printed copy of your vaccine receipt
If you need a printed copy of your vaccination receipt and do not have access to a printer:

  • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to receive your receipt by mail
  • Visit a Hamilton Public Library to print your receipt beginning Tuesday September 21, 2021
  • Visit a ServiceOntario centre to have them print a copy for you

To save your vaccine certificate with a QR code on your mobile device, log-in to the COVID-19 vaccination portal using your Apple or Android mobile device:

  • Select “Get your vaccination certificate”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page under “To download your proof of vaccination or book an appointment” and check off the “Terms of use” box
  • Click “Continue”
  • Fill out the following form using your date of birth, health card information, and postal code.
  • Click “Continue”
  • Next, you’ll get two options: one is for booking a vaccination appointment and another is to access your vaccine certificates. Click “Continue” on the yellow box that says “Proof of vaccination”
  • Click “Download proof of vaccination” to save it to your phone, file manager or iCloud as a PDF file. This will work on both Apple and Android phones.

To access your vaccine certificate on your mobile device once downloaded:

  • Take a screen shot of the certificate to save it to your photos. If you “favourite” the photo of your vaccine certificate, it will be saved in your “favourite” album; or
  • Save the PDF or photo of your certificate to your home screen:
  • On an Apple mobile device, use the Shortcuts app and press “Add Action” to search the PDF of your certificate by the name it is saved under in your Files app, or to search the photo of your certificate under the album where it is saved. Create the shortcut and add it to your home screen.
  • On an Android mobile device, use the file management or cloud storage app such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox where the PDF of your vaccine certificate is saved to generate a home screen shortcut. Press-and-hold on an empty home screen space and select “Widgets” from the menu, find the section for your app of choice, and then press-and-hold on the shortcut widget to drag it to your home screen. Follow the steps to select the PDF of your certificate or the folder where the PDF of your certificate is saved, depending on which app you are using.

Work is underway to make it easier to add enhanced vaccine certificate with an official QR code to Apple or Android wallets. In the coming weeks, Apple will release iOS 15.1 which will support the addition of SMART Health Cards to Apple Wallet, complimenting existing integration with Apple Health.

If you were vaccinated in another country or province or if you received federal vaccine supply (i.e., Federal stock used for Correctional Facilities, Military groups, Embassies, First Nations etc), please fill out this form. If you are unable to complete this form on your computer, print the form and fill it out completely. Please submit the form and the proof of vaccination document that was provided from the clinic where you received the vaccine. You can submit these documents by:

  1. Fax 905-546-4841
  2. Mail or by drop off

    City of Hamilton
    Vaccine Program
    2nd floor Robert Thomson Building, 110 King St W
    Hamilton, ON
    L8P 4V3
    Drop off Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

It will take up to 7 days for the record to be reviewed and entered into the COVID-19 vaccination records database (COVAXon).

Residents are required to submit or show their record of receipt for the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to receiving their second dose to ensure the correct interval between doses and to determine the need for a subsequent dose.

Hamilton Public Health Services and the Ministry are currently not providing COVAXon receipts, for doses administered outside of Ontario. Clients must keep their original immunization record as proof of immunization.

Clients who received their vaccine from a non-Ontario stock (i.e., Federal Stock used for Correctional Facilities, Military groups, Embassies, First Nations, etc.) will be able to obtain a COVAXon receipt by completing the following steps:

  • Visit covid19.ontariohealth.ca
  • Enter health card information
  • Click on the yellow Vaccine Receipt button, and then you can download your receipt

If you do not have an Ontario Health Card, email [email protected] with the following information:

  • Your phone number
  • A sentence explaining that you are looking for proof of vaccination and that you do not have a green Ontario photo health card

For specific inquiries, call Hamilton Public Health Vaccine Records line at 905-540-5250.

If you would like more information about your vaccination, contact your health care provider or if you do not have a health care provider, call Hamilton Public Health Services Vaccine Infoline: 905-546-2424 ext. 7556.

Individuals must provide proof of identification so that the business or organization can ensure the vaccination receipt belongs to the person. The person’s identification must be issued by an institution or public body and show the name of the identification holder and their date of birth. Photo identification is not required.

Documents that may be used as proof of identification include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship card
  • Driver’s licence
  • Government (Ontario or other) issued identification card, including health card[1]
  • Indian Status Card /Indigenous Membership Card
  • Passport
  • Permanent Resident card

The identification requirements are flexible, and identification is required to confirm the name of the person and date of birth. Government identification can be used for this purpose but is not required.

Validation of identification occurs when the name and date of birth of the presenter of the vaccination receipt and the name and date of birth on the identification document match. If the name and date of birth on both documents do not match, the individual will not be allowed to enter the business or organization.

Penalties and fines

Individuals who do not provide proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated will not be permitted entry to the specified settings.

If you provide any information to a business or an organization to enter a setting where patrons are required by regulation to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated, you must ensure that information is complete and accurate; failure to do so is an offence under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Failing to comply with the requirements of O. Reg. 364/20 can result in charges under the ROA. If charged under Part I of the Provincial Offenses Act (POA), set fine amounts are $750 for individuals and $1,000 for corporations.

Maximum penalties based on a prosecution under Part I or Part II of the POA include fines of up to $100,000 and up to a year in jail for an individual; up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail for an individual who is a director or officer of a corporation; and up to $10 million for a corporation.

Violence in the workplace is never acceptable. Obstructing any person exercising a power or performing a duty (including workers) in accordance with requirements in O. Reg. 364/20 can also result in charges under the ROA.

Federal vaccine passports

This passport will permit access to certain places in Ontario. The Province will continue to work with the federal government on a national vaccine passport for the purposes of international travel.

Resources

Proof of vaccination sign - Colour | Black & white 

Questions about proof of vaccination

Businesses and organizations can submit questions to the Ministry of Health via https://www.ontario.ca/feedback/contact-us?id=25811&nid=98977