On September 1, 2021, the province announced that it would require Ontarians to show proof of vaccination in certain public settings. We blogged about this already.

The applicable regulation was published today, shedding some light on what that means and how it will work.

Where will proof of vaccination be required?

The person responsible for a business or organization listed in the regulation will require each patron to provide both a proof of vaccination and a proof of identification, at the point of entrance, to access the following (we start with those more relevant to condos):

  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces;
  • Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks and personal physical fitness trainers;
  • Indoor restaurants, bars, food or drink establishments;
  • Indoor and outdoor restaurants, bars, food or drink establishments if dance facilities are provided;
  • Casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishment;
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • … and more. You may want to consult the list found in the regulation.

So far, this requirement will apply during Step 3 (the one we are currently under) but it appears that it will not be required once we move to the Roadmap Exit Step – whenever that is.

Exceptions

The requirement to provide proof of vaccination will not apply to the following:

  • kids under the age of 12;
  • youth under the age of 18 who are entering an indoor facility used for sports and recreational fitness or to participate in an organized sport;
  • to use a washroom;
  • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route;
  • to make retail purchase;
  • to place, pick up or pay for an order;
  • as may be necessary for the purpose of health and safety;
  • There are more exceptions, including for places of worship, weddings or funeral (but not the reception associated with same)… You may want to consult the regulation.

Medical Exemptions

Those seeking to be exempt from this requirement based on a medical condition will be required to provide a written document, completed by a physician or registered nurse, documenting both the medical reason for not being fully vaccinated and the time-period over which the medical exemption will apply.

What does it meant to be fully vaccinated?

Proof of full vaccination will require Ontarian to have received one of the following:

  • a full series of COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada or a combination of these vaccines for those who received a mix of vaccines;
  • One or two dose of a vaccine not authorized by Health Canada provided that it is followed by an approved mRNA vaccine;
  • three dose of a vaccine not authorized by Health Canada.

Vaccination will need to have been completed for at least 14 days.

Proof of vaccination will need to be complete and accurate.

Final point to note, businesses and organization verifying proof of vaccination cannot retain the information. [This adds a very real practical challenge for condos].

When will this be in effect?

For the most part, proof of vaccination will be required as of September 22, 2021 (there are exceptions for funeral/weddings….).

Does this apply to condos?

While the landscape is still changing, here are our conclusions on whether this requirement applies to condos:

  • Proof of vaccination is required for:
    • meeting and event spaces;
    • indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities; and
    • indoor pools and other water features.
  • The regulation applies to businesses and organizations.
  • There does not appear to be an exception for condos.
    • I realize that the media reported last week that some representative at Health Canada indicated that the proof of vaccination would not be required in condos. The regulation does not reflect that.

We are of the view that, absent an amendment to the regulation or clear direction from the province, proof of vaccination is required for fitness rooms, pools and meeting spaces in condos.

Vaccine policies

There are a lot of moving parts here:

  • What information will constitute adequate proof of vaccination;
  • How to practically verify vaccination;
  • Privacy considerations – the regulation expressly provides that the organization verifying vaccination cannot retain any of the information received;
  • Medical accommodations;
  • Other exceptions…

While I realize this will sound like I’m drumming up business, in our view, the best way to tackle this is to adopt and establish a clear vaccination policy that will address the above. A good policy would also address vaccination amongst employees/contractors.

Naturally, some condo corporations may opt instead to close these amenities (pursuant to their duty and powers to control, manage and administer common elements) until proof of vaccination is not required.