Learn about checking proof of vaccination for entry to your business or organization.
About proof of vaccination
As of September 22, patrons must provide proof they are fully vaccinated along with identification to access certain businesses and settings.
Individuals will be denied entry to the business or organization if they do not:
- provide proof of vaccination and personal ID
- qualify for a valid medical or other program exemption
- want to share the required information
This is important to limiting further spread of the virus, so that Ontario businesses can remain open and so that people can feel and be safer while in those settings.
Places where proof of vaccination is required for entry
Indoor areas of:
- meeting and event spaces, including conference and convention centres – including outdoor areas that have a normal maximum capacity of 20,000 or more people
- restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities
- food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restoclubs – includes outdoor areas also
- sports and recreational fitness facilities, including waterparks and personal fitness training – including outdoor areas that have a normal maximum capacity of 20,000 or more people
- casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- concert venues, theatres and cinemas – including outdoor areas that have a normal maximum capacity of 20,000 or more people
- bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
- horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues - including normal maximum areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people
- commercial film and TV productions where there is a studio audience
About the Verify Ontario app
The Verify Ontario app makes the process of proving and verifying full vaccination status easier, more secure and convenient. Since information is never stored on the app, you can quickly scan enhanced vaccine certificates with a QR code, while protecting the privacy of your patrons.
Vaccine receipts without a QR code can still be used as proof of vaccination even when the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code is available. Businesses must accept both electronic and paper versions. In addition, while the current vaccine receipt without a QR code remains valid and will continue to be accepted, we encourage individuals to download their enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code.
Businesses and organizations can download the free Verify Ontario app from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
- has been designed to help businesses by making it quicker and easier to confirm if a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while protecting their privacy.
- can be used without an internet connection for up to 14 days and never stores personal information
- will only scan and read official, government issued QR codes, such as Ontario’s vaccine certificate and those from other provinces including Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon Territory
Step 1: ask for QR code and personal ID
Ask the patron for their:
- enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and
- personal identification that shows their name and date of birth
Step 2: scan QR code to verify proof of vaccination
Scan the patron's QR code located either on their smart phone or a paper copy of their receipt. The app will check the patron’s proof of vaccination to determine if the patron is eligible to enter.
Step 3: verify identification
Confirm the patron’s name and date of birth on the app matches the name and date of birth on their ID.
Photo ID is not required.
Verifying proof visually
You will need to visually inspect your patron’s vaccination receipt if:
- your patron does not have an enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code
- your patron has a vaccine receipt from outside of Ontario
- the Verify Ontario app shows a yellow screen because it can’t scan the QR code
Step 1: ask for proof of vaccination and personal ID
Ask the person for both their:
- proof of vaccination
- personal identification that shows their name and date of birth
Photo identification is not required.
Step 2: verify identification
Confirm the name and the date of birth on the vaccination receipt matches the name and date of birth on the piece of identification.
Step 3: verify the receipt
The receipt can be a digital or printed receipt:
- issued to the patron at the time of vaccination
- downloaded from the provincial vaccination system
- signed by an Indigenous Health Provider
- issued by the Canadian Armed Forces
- issued by another province, territory or country
Someone is fully vaccinated if they have received their final dose of the covid 19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated:
- the full series of a covid 19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines (two doses of Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca) in any combination or one dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
- 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
Step 4: check when they got their final dose
Check the date the person received their final dose.
Confirm fourteen days have elapsed.
Verifying personal identification
Examples of acceptable forms of ID
- Birth certificate
- Citizenship card
- Driver’s licence
- Government (Ontario or other) issued identification card, including health card
- Indian Status Card or Indigenous membership card
- Permanent resident card
- Documentation from an institution or public organization that includes the name of the holder and date of birth
For Ontario residents, expired Ontario government issued ID, including drivers’ licenses, and expired Canadian government issued documents, such as passports, can be provided as proof of identification.
Visitors from within Canada can provide expired passports but cannot provide expired provincial documents as proof of identification.
People visiting from outside of Canada cannot provide expired documents as proof of identification.
If you can’t verify someone’s identity (name and date of birth do not match)
If the name and date of birth on the patron’s person’s proof of vaccination do not match their ID, the person is not eligible to enter the designated setting.
Know the exemptions
Under 12 years old
Patrons are exempt if they are younger than 12 years old.
Patrons with medical exemptions do not need to show proof of vaccination.
They must present ID and a written document that states they are exempt for a medical reason.
When you review proof of a medical reason for not being vaccinated against covid 19, make sure:
- the name of the person in the written documentation matches the personal ID provided
- the doctor or registered nurse in the extended class’ information includes:
- their name and contact information
- their logo or letterhead
- a statement that there is a medical reason for the person’s exemption from being fully vaccinated against covid 19
- any effective time-period for the medical reason which includes the date the patron is seeking access to the business or organization
If the written documentation is missing any of this information, the person is not eligible to enter the designated setting.
If a patron is participating in a covid 19 vaccine clinical trial authorized by Health Canada and specified in Ministry of Health guidance, they must provide both:
- documentation stating they are taking part in the clinical trial, including:
- a completed “Statement of Exemption due to Participation in a covid 19 Vaccine Clinical Trial” form signed by the principal investigator and study participant
- documentation from the principal investigator with their first and last name, date of birth, duration of the trial and information about the clinical trial
Entering for work
Employees do not need to show proof of vaccination if they are entering to work. This includes:
- repair workers
- delivery workers
Businesses and organizations may choose to implement policies that require workers to be vaccinated. Please check with your employer if there are such policies.
Patrons do not have to show proof of vaccination if they are entering temporarily to:
- use a washroom
- access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route
- make a retail purchase
- place or pick up an order, including placing a bet or picking up winnings at a horse racing track
- pay for an order
- purchase admission
- enter for health and safety reasons
Sport and recreational fitness
People under 18 years of age do not need proof of vaccination if they are entering an indoor sports and recreational fitness facility to participate in an organized sport, including:
- games and competitions
- sports leagues
- organized pick-up sports
- dance classes
- martial arts
- swimming classes
Anyone entering to work or volunteer, including coaches and officials, do not need to provide proof of vaccination.
Wedding services, rites ceremony and funeral services
People do not need to provide proof of vaccination to enter an indoor meeting or event space:
- to attend a wedding service, rite, ceremony or funeral service but, do need proof of vaccination for an associated social gathering
- in a place of worship, funeral establishment, cemetery or crematorium to attend a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony
Verifying out-of-province proof of vaccination
A receipt from another province, territory or country will look different than a receipt from Ontario. If someone gives you a receipt that is not from Ontario, look for the person’s name, date of birth, number of doses and name of the vaccine the received (for example, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca).
Your responsibilities are set out in Step 3 under O. Reg. 364/20 of the Reopening Ontario Act.
If proof of vaccination is required for your business and you do not ask customers to provide it, you may face fines or up to a year in jail.
Customers are required to ensure that any information they provide to demonstrate proof of vaccination is complete and accurate.
If someone refuses to show proof of vaccination in a required setting, you should deny their entry.
While all provincial offences officers, including by-law officials, health and labour inspectors can enforce public health orders, contact police in the event of any violent acts, threats or harassment.
Print a poster
Download a poster to tell your patrons and the public that they must show proof of vaccination and personal identification to enter your business or setting.
If you have questions, contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. The contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, and can provide assistance in 300 languages.