Ontario Casinos Will Soon Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
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Ontario Casinos Will Soon Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Ontario Casinos Will Soon Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Casinos in Canada will now ask for proof of vaccination against the ongoing pandemic. Thanks to the growing number of infections as a result of the Delta Variant that has caused the 4th wave, the government is looking to protect as many people as possible, which is why proof of vaccination has become necessary. At present, the Delta Variant is responsible for at least 80% of all cases.

As such, Ontario is now requiring anyone that wants to use public spaces to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination, as well as their identification card, whether that means providing a health card or a driver’s license to access public settings. Authorities are requiring proof of vaccine for anyone that intends to visit:

  1. A restaurant or a bar. The only exception made here is for outdoor patios or areas that handle delivery and take-out.
  2. Nightclubs will also require anyone that wants access to show that they have received the vaccine. Strip and sex clubs, bathhouses, and locations of this nature must also adhere to the new rules.
  3. Meeting and event spaces such as banquet halls, convention centers, as well as conference halls will also be required to ask their guests to provide proof that they have been vaccinated.
  4. Training facilities such as gyms, sports centers, and personal training locations excluding youth recreational sports centers must also follow this directive.
  5. Attendance of live sporting events will also require proof of vaccination. Horse races, casinos, bingo halls, and any other gambling establishments will also force visitors to provide proof that they have been vaccinated.

Because the infection rate has been climbing, the authorities still require people to wear masks indoors while maintaining the recommended distance. Those who cannot get the vaccination for one reason or another will be required to provide a doctor’s note in order to be allowed entry into any of these locations.


What about weddings and funerals in Ontario?

Those attending funerals and weddings must provide proof of a negative result after taking the rapid antigen test, which is to be sourced privately for each individual. The rapid antigen test must be completed 48 hours before the actual event for anyone that’s not willing to get vaccinated.

As proof, people will be required to print paper or digital vaccine certificates that contain all the necessary vaccination information. Before the end of October, the government expects to have debuted a fully digital vaccine certificate that will contain an easily scannable QR Code that can be easily stored on one’s phone or device for easy access.

Any tourists arriving from outside Ontario or Canada will also have to provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated. To enforce this rule, law officers have been called upon. The Ministry of Labor is also training inspectors that will ensure that the process is streamlined and effective. According to the Ontario government, these measures have become critical for all non-essential businesses and facilities.

The Ontario Premier Doug Ford has stated that imposing the vaccination certificate is the best way forward if the region does not want to go into lockdown once again, which would be even more disastrous for the local economy. According to officials, some non-essential services are exempt from the rules.

For example, authorities state that businesses like salons and barbershops are exempted from the certificate rule as evidence shows that the rate of transmission is not as high in these areas as it is in others. These rules will also not apply to kids under the age of 12 as well as to people suffering from medical conditions.

Although this is the first time that the vaccine passport is being implemented in Ontario, the certificate rule has already been implemented in other provinces including Manitoba, Quebec, as well as BC. Individuals that refuse to comply with the order will face heavy fines that will be issued under the 2020 Reopening Ontario Act.


Ontario infections cases are rising 

It makes sense that the Ontario authorities are finally enforcing these rules. More and more cases are being identified in Ontario as officials mark the newest vaccine milestone in the province. Most of the infection cases have been recorded in the Peel and York region even though several other municipalities are also recording spikes in cases.

Thankfully though, authorities are confident that the rates of infection will be kept in check, especially because the province has successfully managed to vaccinate at least 11 million individuals. So far, the government claims that at least 11 million individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccines available in the market.

Officials claim that at least 84% of eligible residents aged 12 and higher have received at least one dose of the vaccine while the authorities consider at least 78% of residents fully vaccinated. According to data shared by health officials, at least 40% of all patients in the ICU due to the ongoing pandemic have been people that were fully vaccinated, which is why the authorities are so keen on enforcing the new vaccine certificate rules.


Final Thoughts

So what does all this mean for local gaming establishments? The fact that the government has successfully managed to vaccinate 11 million residents is something to marvel at. And even though the increased number of vaccinations is good for the local community, there is still a lot that needs to be done for things to return to normal.

As such, non-essential businesses such as casinos and nightclubs will still have to remain vigilant as new spikes keep being recorded all over the country. As a result, the country is still not out of the woods yet, which will no doubt make the recovery efforts for casinos a lot more complicated and harder to achieve.  If the rate of infections continues to spike, it might spell even more trouble for local brick and mortar businesses that will likely face renewed and stricter health policies.

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