The vaccine passport system has gotten off to a rough start at restaurants in Orléans. Many reported that diners hadn’t downloaded their vaccine receipts from the Ministry of Health yet, while some were openly hostile at having to produce the necessary proof that they were fully vaccinated.
Little Turkish Village owner Sunil Kurichh said he’s had to turn away several customers so far who have refused to show him proof that they were vaccinated, including a couple who came by the restaurant the day the new rule was implemented on Sept. 22.
“They wanted to have dinner but they didn’t have a vaccine certificate so I told them I couldn’t serve them. They got really upset and told me they would never come back, but what can you do? These are the new rules and we have to follow them or risk getting fined,” says Kurichh.
“It’s not an easy thing to do because we need the business, but not at the cost of getting fined,” Kurichh adds. “We didn’t bring in the rule, the government did, yet we have to enforce it and it’s costing us money. You can’t win.”
Kurichh’s sentiments are echoed by most restaurant owners in Orléans. Mumbai Masala Grill owner Satpal Singh has also been verbally abused by people upset that they have to prove they’ve been vaccinated in order to eat in his restaurant. And like Kurichh, he is upset that he will likely lose some business as a result, at least in the short term.
The requirement to provide proof of vaccin-ation when visiting a restaurant, gym, fitness centre, meeting place, indoor sporting event or theatre became a reality in Ontario on Sept. 22Vaccine receipts can be downloaded from the Government of Ontario website at https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/.
You will need to input your Health Card number, your date of birth and postal code in order to get your receipt. However, it is important to note that your receipt won’t be available until two weeks after you receive your second dose.
It is also important to note that establish-ments requiring proof of vaccination will also need to see piece of ID – either your driver’s license, a health card or a provincial photo card. Proof of vaccination is required for anyone age 12 and over.
Beginning Oct. 22, patrons will also require a vaccine passport QR code. They can be hard copy, PDF or through an app. The government has yet to reveal how the QR codes will be produced.
In Québec, the personal QR codes can be downloaded much the same way the vaccine receipts can be accessed.
Québec has been using a vaccine passport system since Sept. 1, however, the Québec government allowed for a two-week grace period while residents and establishments got used to the new rule.
Once the grace period expired, many businesses requiring a QR code in la belle province have reported a drop in business forcing some of them to take the risk of allowing patrons to enter without having to produce a QR code.
There are many residents in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada who object to the idea of a vaccine passport system on principle, claiming that it contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has come out and said that the system does not violate the Human Rights Code.
“The OHRC takes the position that man-dating and requiring proof of vaccination to protect people at work or when receiving services is generally permissible under the Human Rights Code as long as protections are put in place to make sure people who are unable to be vaccinated for Code-related reasons are reasonably accommodated,” the Commission outlined in a statement released on Sept. 23.