Waterloo Region businesses preparing for vaccine passport launch
Businesses and municipal facilities across Waterloo Region are preparing for the launch of Ontario's vaccine passports on Wednesday.
Starting Sept. 22, a printed or digital copy of a vaccine receipt along with a piece of ID is needed to enter restaurants, gyms, movie theatres and more.
The policy will also apply to recreation centres in the region.
"This has been a moving target for the last couple of weeks with the regulation clarifications," said Steve Scherrer, Waterloo's manager of recreation facilities.
He said city staff are ready to begin checking proof of vaccination for those 12 and older, adding security will be present to ensure compliance.
"If there is a confrontation, I really don't want frontline staff to deal with confrontation," Scherrer said.
Under Ontario's vaccination certification program, proof of full vaccination – two weeks after a second dose – must be presented to access certain non-essential businesses and services.
A copy of a COVID-19 vaccination receipt can be accessed using an online portal. The province plans to switch to using a QR code and app by late October.
At Fetter Fitness in Kitchener, patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination to their fitness instructors.
"They don’t have to show it to me every time, once they showed it to me once then we're all good," said owner Danny Fetter.
He said each trainer is in charge of ensuring compliance within their own clientele.
"You're putting the onus on the small business man all over again," Fetter said. "Every time they bring on something new it's throwing it back on us."
Vaccine passports are also required for indoor dining.
"At the end of the day if it gets us further down the road to getting back to some sort of normalcy, we're all for it," said Neil Robinson, managing partner at Borealis Grill and Bar in Kitchener.