Ontario’s opposition parties are calling for the province’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate system to be expanded to more settings.
The system went into effect Wednesday and means that people looking to access many indoor (and some outdoor) settings across the province will need to show proof of complete vaccination along with a government-issued ID in order to enter.
Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios), gyms, meeting and event spaces, nightclubs (including outdoor areas), sporting events, and gaming establishments are among the facilities covered by the new rules.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Certification Program for Many Indoor Public Settings Now In Effect
But the province’s opposition parties said the vaccine certificate system should go further.
On a statement from the NDP Released Wednesday, leader Andrea Horwath said those who are vaccinated “have earned the right” to be in the mall or in a church “without having to worry that the person next to us is not vaccinated.” .
“For the safety of our families and our progress in the fight against COVID-19, let’s fix the vaccine certificate program,” Horwath said.
“The Doug Ford version is full of holes big enough for COVID to pass through, let’s close them.”
The NDP statement also noted that unvaccinated people may still be in places that require proof of vaccination, to work a shift or make a purchase. The NDP also noted that proof of vaccination is not required for non-essential retail establishments.
Last week, the Ontario Liberal Party published a declaration in which they also called for stronger vaccination policies.
The statement called for, among other things, that vaccinations be mandatory for passengers and operators on trains regulated by the province, as well as for all employees at workplaces where customers must be vaccinated.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate Is A ‘Temporary’ Measure Needed To Avoid Another Blockade: Ford
On Wednesday, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner raised concerns around what he called “gaps” in the vaccine certificate program.
“I am also concerned that Ford’s vaccination certificate is not complete enough and is full of inconsistencies, exceptions and loopholes. For example, leaving salons and hair salons off the list doesn’t make sense, ”he said.
“They can’t afford to close again, so we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help them stay open.”
Global News asked the provincial government for a comment on the opposition party’s statements.
“The settings were chosen based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer,” said Alexandra Hilkene, spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“The policy applies to indoor environments where masks are not always worn and the risk of transmission is higher.”
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