Read Public Health's letter of instruction for sports, athletic and recreational fitness facilities.
A COVID-19 vaccination policy can help keep your employees and customers / clients safe and your business open, along with workplace health and safety measures. Niagara Region Public Health recommends that local businesses create vaccination policies for their employees. This information is for:
Learn about establishing a vaccination policy for your workplace. Key components of a workplace vaccination policy include:
Get more details on the key components of a workplace vaccination policy.
Review the Ontario Human Rights Commission's statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates.
COVID-19 vaccination policies are already mandatory in certain high-risk settings. Please follow the relevant guidance for your organization:
The province requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access certain higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn.
Beginning Jan. 4, 2022, businesses and organizations are required to verify their customer or client's enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code (either digitally or printed) through the Verify Ontario App. Vaccine receipts without a QR code will no longer be valid. Customers or clients must continue to show a piece of government-issued ID that matches the name and date of birth on their vaccination certificate. For more information, review proof of vaccination information for businesses and organizations.
On Dec. 2, 2021, Niagara Region Public Health issued a letter of instruction for sports, athletic and recreational fitness facilities under Section 2, Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. These instructions apply to businesses or organizations that operate indoor areas of facilities within Niagara that are used for sports, athletic and recreational fitness activities.
These instructions require the following:
Effective Dec. 10, 2021 and until these instructions are rescinded.
Effective Dec. 25, 2021 and until these instructions are rescinded or the date that Paragraph 4 of Section 2.1(2) under Schedule 1 in Ontario Regulation 364/20 or any similar successor provision which requires proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when entering these facilities, subject to limited prescribed exceptions is rescinded, whichever is earlier.
The province announced that they will also require proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years of age participating in organized sports at recreational facilities, effective Dec. 20, 2021.
For more information, see frequently asked questions on the recreational sport letter of instruction.
A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they've received:
Full vaccination has been shown to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting vaccinated individuals from severe consequences of COVID-19. A vaccination policy that increases vaccination coverage will keep employees and clients safe, and prevent isolation of employees so that businesses can stay open.
Proof of vaccination is considered any documentation issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health, other province or territory or international equivalent or a health care provider showing individual immunization status against the COVID-19 virus including the effective date.
The documentation from employees should include the following:
Yes. It's important to continue these measures to further control the spread of COVID-19. All workplace health and safety policies and directions including handwashing, physical distancing, wearing appropriate face coverings and personal protective equipment must be continued, regardless of vaccination status.
No, these exemptions are not the same.
Beginning Jan. 10, 2022, settings where proof of vaccination is required will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as proof that someone is medically exempt from COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals will be required to prove their exemption using their enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code. Learn more about the exemption process.
The Chambers of Commerce in Niagara (Greater Niagara, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln, Port Colborne-Wainfleet, Welland / Pelham, Thorold and Niagara on the Lake) have partnered with the province of Ontario to provide rapid tests for free to interested workplaces in Niagara. Businesses can go through their local Chambers of Commerce to book and pick up tests.
See examples of acceptable forms of ID. Photo identification is not required.
The provincial requirements regarding proof of vaccination only applies to customers or clients dining indoors, not those working at a restaurant.
It's recommended that individual employers and organizations create their own internal vaccination policy for their staff. For more information, review new requirements for proof of vaccination in certain settings.