Ontario Vaccine Passport: What to Expect From the Upcoming App
March 2020 feels like a lifetime ago. After over a year of lockdowns, curfews and countless Zoom meetings, Canadians are starting to see a glimmer of hope. While our vaccination rates are some of the highest in the world, the looming threat of the Delta variant continues to threaten our return to normalcy. As a countermeasure, each province has been ordered to implement their own vaccine passport system. These passports take the form of mobile applications, and allow fully vaccinated individuals to enjoy non-essential services amid the pandemic. With Quebec’s VaxiCode app recently going online, the Ontario government has announced its plans to launch their app on October 22 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Ontario vaccine passport.
What Do I Need the App For?
Proof of vaccination will be necessary to access certain services as of September 22. However, the official app will only go online on October 22. Throughout this period, residents can use their QR codes, printed copies of their proof of vaccination, or other kinds of official documents. Much like Quebec’s ruling, the app will be necessary to access non-essential services like restaurants, nightclubs, bars and gyms. In addition, residents will require proof of vaccination to participate in recreational sports, or attend matches. You can read the full list of services that require proof of vaccination here.
Where Can I Download the Ontario Vaccine Passport App?
Ontario’s app will be available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store starting October 22nd. As of the 22nd, a simple screenshot of your personal QR code will not be sufficient evidence. To avoid hacking, lying or replicating, businesses will only trust the government-mandated app. With everyone using the vaccine passport app, businesses will understand that all proofs of vaccination are authentic and legitimate. Fortunately, Ontario residents without smartphones don’t need to worry. Businesses should accept a printout of your personal QR code if you don’t have a device capable of downloading the app. However, much like Quebec, the Ontario government would prefer for as many citizens as possible to use their official app.
What Can I Expect From the Ontario Vaccine Passport App?
Although the app will not be launching for several weeks, Ontarians are eager to get their hands on it. Realistically, the vaccine passport will likely resemble Quebec’s VaxiCode app. Before October 22nd, we would recommend having your personal QR code nearby. Either be able to print it out, have it up on another device, or have it saved on your camera roll. With VaxiCode, residents could upload their QR code by scanning a copy of it, or opening an image containing the code through the app. The Ontario version will likely use similar technology, so make sure to prepare for it.
Finally, using the app as proof will also work similarly to VaxiCode. Once the app has your QR code scanned, it will gather all your personal information onto the app. From there, all you need to do is touch a simple button. With one push, the app should pull up your code and brighten your screen, allowing for it to be quickly scanned by whichever business, establishment or event you are trying to enter.
Overall, vaccine passports seem like a great initiative which encourages the population to receive both doses. The introduction of VaxiCode alongside Ontario’s application coming soon signifies a bright future for Canadian society. As each province begins to introduce their own passport, we can hope for our vaccination rate to continue rising, and eventually return to our ordinary lifestyles.