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This page includes answers to frequently asked COVID-19 questions including province-wide Roadmap to Reopening, self-isolation and masking requirements.

For questions related to COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccines Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Proof of vaccination FAQs

For more frequently asked questions, read the Ministry of Health Questions and Answers (external PDF) and Using your Enhanced Vaccine Certificate Frequently Asked Questions (external link).

Enhanced vaccine certificates with unique QR codes are available from the provincial portal (external link).

Vaccine certificates can be downloaded from the provincial portal (external link). Individuals can also call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have their enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to them. For more information on how to access your vaccine certificate, visit our COVID-19 vaccination clinic page.

You can also present the proof of vaccination you received when you were vaccinated. This could be one or more of the following types (varies depending on the location):

  • paper immunization record
  • prescription receipt from a pharmacy
  • vaccine certificate emailed to you from covaxon@ontario.ca
  • printed patient record

If you do not have access to a computer or printer, you can:

  • Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
  • Ask a trusted friend or organization to help you print a copy.
  • Contact your local public library. Many Halton public library branches (external link) are able to help people print their vaccination certificate for free.

Proof of vaccination status is required to access certain settings. Patrons must also provide identification with a name and date of birth that matches the vaccine certificate.

To learn how this affects businesses and organizations, read the Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act (external PDF).

To learn how proof of vaccination affects patrons and customers, read the Using your Vaccination Receipt: Frequently Asked Questions resource provided by the Province (external link).

Patrons seeking access to certain businesses and organizations must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the area, with limited exceptions.

Read the Province’s list of Frequently Asked Questions (external link) for a full list of settings and exemptions.

Your vaccine certificate must be for your second dose only, and the date of administration must have been at least 14 days prior.

Examples of identification documents that can be used to confirm vaccine status include a birth certificate, a citizenship card, a driver’s license, a government issued identification card, including a health card, an Indian Status Card or Indigenous Membership Card, a passport or a permanent resident card. A photo is not required.

Youth who do not yet have a driver’s license can use any of the above options or their health card (even without a photo), or high school ID card.

The full list of businesses required to request proof of vaccination can be found in the Province’s Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations (external PDF).

Businesses may establish their own additional policies or requirements pertaining to their patrons. Businesses or organizations considering creating their own additional policies or requirements may wish to consult a lawyer.

After you are vaccinated, you can log in to the provincial portal to download or print COVID-19 vaccine certificate for each dose you have received.

To log in to the provincial portal (external link) and get your receipt, you will need:

  • a green photo health (OHIP) card (you will need numbers from both the front and back of the card, expired cards will be accepted)
  • your date of birth
  • your postal code (the one associated with your health card)

If you have a red and white health card, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. The call centre agent can email you a copy of your vaccine certificate.

If you do not have a health card, please call 311 or email accesshalton@halton.ca.

In general, there are few situations where someone meets the criteria for a medical exemption to COVID-19 vacation.  Most people can safely receive COVID-19 vaccines.

For a complete list conditions and adverse events following immunization (AEFI) that may qualify for a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination, refer to the Ministry of Health guidance on Medical Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccination (external PDF).

Documentation of a medical exemption must be obtained from a physician or a nurse practitioner. The exemption must include:

  • the name and contact information of the physician or nurse practitioner;
  • a logo or letterhead identifying the physician or nurse practitioner;
  • the medical reason for exemption from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • any effective time-period for the medical reason, including the date the client is seeking access to the business or organization.

Anyone under 18 years of age entering an indoor facility to actively participate in an organized sport is exempt from proof of vaccination. The exemption applies to indoor organized sport activities including training, practices, games and competitions.

The exemption does not apply to youth who are:

  • spectators at sporting events; or
  • using a gym or another area within the facility with exercise equipment or weights unless actively participating in an organized sport.

Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and proof of identification (or proof of being entitled to an exemption) is required for patrons 18 years and older, including parents or guardians of the youth actively participating in an organized sport.

Proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated is not required for workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials. All workers, coaches, officials and volunteers must abide by the employee vaccination policy of the recreational facility.

For more information on the requirements for proof of vaccination in Ontario, please read the Province’s Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations (external PDF).

Applicable businesses and organizations are responsible for ensuring they meet the requirements regarding proof of identification and proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as outlined in the regulation. They are being asked to match the name and date of birth listed on the patron’s vaccination receipt with their proof of identification prior to permitting entry to their facility.

For more information about how proof of vaccination in Ontario will be enforced, please read the Province’s Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations (external PDF).

If the information on your vaccine certificate is incorrect, please call 311 or email accesshalton@halton.ca.

Please note: The name on your vaccine certificate should match the name on your Ontario health card. Your vaccine certificate cannot be changed to the name on other documents, such as your passport. Visit the Provincial website for information on how to change your name on health card (external link), if needed.

Can a visitor from outside of Ontario or Canada enter a business or organization that requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

All visitors must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated in order to enter businesses or organizations where proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. Businesses can choose to accept vaccination receipts from other provinces and countries, as long as the individual is considered fully vaccinated. Identification must also be provided with the same name and date of birth that appears on the vaccination receipt. Businesses can request a translation of the documents if needed.

Requirements to be considered fully vaccinated in Ontario

A person is considered fully vaccinated (external PDF) if they had their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before providing the proof of being fully vaccinated and they received either:

  1. A full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines
  2. One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada
  3. Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada

COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use by Health Canada (external link) include:

  1. Pfizer-BioNTech (mRNA vaccine)
  2. Moderna (mRNA vaccine)
  3. AstraZeneca (viral vector vaccine)
  4. Janssen (viral vector vaccine)

FAQs for Organizations and Businesses

Please note: these FAQs will be updated soon to reflect the Province’s announcement on October 22, 2021 (external link).

The Province of Ontario including Halton Region is in Step 3 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen (external link).

In response to evolving data around the Delta variant, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is pausing the exit from the Roadmap to Reopen. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place.

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health issued amended Instructions to businesses and organizations to help keep staff and customers safe. The Instructions take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 10, 2021. They consolidate key existing requirements from the Province and Halton Region Public Health, with some new requirements. Key components include:

  • health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • guidance for workplaces if workers test positive for COVID-19; and
  • businesses and organizations with 100 or more workers physically present at the workplace must establish both a safety plan and a vaccination policy.

The amended instructions replace the two existing sets of instructions for retail businesses and indoor shopping malls. Read the letter from Dr. Meghani to all retail business owners (PDF file).

Businesses and organizations that are open in Step 3 must ensure that workplaces are safe for workers.

The most effective way to limit exposure to COVID-19 is to avoid interactions between people. The amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file) in Halton Region require that workplaces must enable remote work for workers, where reasonably possible, to reduce the number of workers exposed to the workplace.

Please refer to Halton’s COVID-19 Resources for Businesses page for more information about workplace measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

According to the amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file), all workplaces must ensure that every worker is actively screened before they enter the premises. Records of this information must be kept for at least one month. In the event of an outbreak, Halton Region Public Health will need to be provided with these records within two hours of a request. Records must be stored and destroyed in a secure manner.

Active and passive screening requirements for customers may vary across sectors. Sector-specific requirements can be found in the Halton Region Public Health guidance section.

All workplaces listed in Schedule 1 of the Rules for Areas at Step 3 (external link) must record the name and contact information of every customer who enters the workplace, unless the customer is entering temporarily to place, pay, or pick-up an order.

Some workplaces are newly subject to contact tracing requirements. These are listed in the amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file) and are as follows:

  • personal care services relating to the hair or body, including hair salons and barber shops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios;
  • photography studios and services (for services provided indoors); and
  • concert venues, theatres and cinemas.

The required contact tracing information for these workplaces includes the customer’s:

  • first and last name;
  • municipality of residence;
  • email address and telephone number; and
  • attendance details including date, arrival/departure time, and table number or location (if applicable).

Records of this information must be kept for at least one month so that it can be provided to Halton Region Public Health within two hours of a request. Records must be stored and destroyed in a secure manner.

In addition to the requirements listed for all workplaces in the amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file), those with 100 or more workers physically present at the workplace (including those working in the community) must:

  1. Establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 safety plan. This safety plan must:
    1. describe the measures and procedures which have been implemented or will be implemented in the workplace to reduce the transmission risk of COVID-19. This may include screening, masks and eye protection, and the wearing of other PPE;
    2. be in writing and made available to anyone for review on request; and
    3. be posted in a noticeable place where it is most likely to come to the attention of people working in, or visiting the workplace.
    The Province has provided a guide to help you develop your safety plan (external link).
  2. Establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy in accordance with the Halton Region Recommendations for Establishing a Workplace Vaccination Policy (PDF file). This policy should be in place no later than September 22, 2021, with steps to ensure full implementation and compliance to follow as soon as possible. For more information on what should be included in your vaccination policy, visit COVID-19 Resources for Businesses.

Workplaces with less than 100 workers physically present are encouraged to implement a COVID-19 safety plan and COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy, although it is not mandatory.

There is currently no end date for the requirements for business under Step 3 of the provincial Roadmap to Reopen (external link).

The Roadmap to Reopen is a Provincial plan. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place.

The amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file) will last until Halton’s Medical Officer of Health rescinds them.

Employers have an obligation to maintain a safe work environment for their workers.

The Province has made COVID-19 vaccination policies mandatory in certain high-risk settings (external link), for example, long term care homes, hospitals and others.

Halton Region’s amended Instructions for businesses/organizations (PDF file) require businesses and organizations with 100 or more workers physical present at the workplace to establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy. Businesses with fewer than 100 workers physically present are encouraged to do the same. Workplace vaccination policies should be in place by September 22, 2021.

See Dr. Hamidah Meghani’s recommendations for establishing a COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy for guidance with developing your policy (PDF file).

For more information, please visit the “Vaccination Information for Employers” section on the COVID-19 Resources for Businesses page.

Whether a person needs to be vaccinated to enter an indoor sports or recreational fitness facility will depend on the reason they are entering the facility and their age.

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has issued a letter of instructions to sports and recreational fitness facilities (PDF file) used for Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities. This letter requires all such facilities with indoor areas used for Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities to implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires every person 12 years and older to provide identification and proof of vaccination or a valid medical exemption before entering an indoor area of the facility for the purpose of:

  1. actively participating in one or more Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities; or
  2. coaching, training, instructing, officiating or having similar involvement in Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities.

Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities include (but are not limited to) extracurricular sports and recreational fitness activities, sports leagues, organized pick-up sports, dance classes, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming classes and all related training, practices, games and competitions. For more information, please see Halton Region’s October 19 media release.

These policies will help to protect the health of all participants, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators and others – including people with weaker immune systems or who cannot be vaccinated for COVID-19 because of their age or for medical reasons. These policies will benefit all participants by helping to prevent interruptions and disruptions caused by outbreaks.

As part of Step 3 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen (external link) (O. Reg. 364/20 (external link)), identification and proof of vaccination are required for all persons 12 years and older entering indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities including gyms, sporting events with spectators, facilities used for personal physical fitness training and waterparks. There are some exemptions (see the Province’s Proof of COVID-19 vaccination website for more information (external link)), but the provincial exemption for active participants (including coaches, trainers, instructors, officials etc.) will not be available in Halton Region effective November 26, 2021 given the Medical Officer of Health’s instruction dated October 19, 2021.

Vaccination against COVID-19 for all those eligible is a crucial strategy for reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

Businesses and organizations can implement the letter of instruction as soon as possible, and we encourage them to do so, but they must comply no later than November 26, 2021. The November 26 deadline has been chosen to allow businesses and organizations adequate time to develop and implement their policies, and for all those involved in these sports and activities to be fully vaccinated (if they are not already). By definition, to be considered fully vaccinated an individual requires two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine taken 3 to 4 weeks apart plus an additional 14 days after the last dose.

Regional Mask by-law FAQs

On July 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council passed Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 (PDF file), making it mandatory to wear a mask in certain enclosed public places. On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to the by-law. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020 and is in effect until December 31, 2021. Some individuals may be exempt from the by-law.

The by-law applies to certain indoor public places, including, but not limited to:

  • premises (or any part of premises) used as places of business for the sale of goods or services;
  • churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or other places of worship;
  • community centres including indoor recreational facilities;
  • libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities;
  • community service agencies providing services to the public, including municipal administrative buildings;
  • banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces;
  • premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;
  • common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities;
  • concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertainment facilities;
  • public transportation and private transportation services (such as taxis, private limousine services, Uber, Lyft and other similar ride programs); and
  • enclosed common areas of an apartment or condominium building, including the lobby elevator, laundry room and mailrooms.

The City of Burlington and Halton Region’s by-laws are also the same. When in Burlington, follow the Burlington By-law.

Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file) does not require individuals to wear a mask outdoors. However, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health encourages all individuals to wear a mask in situations where physical distancing is a challenge, including crowded outdoor spaces.

Wearing only a face shield does not meet the requirements of the Regional mask by-law as it does not filter respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets can either enter or escape around the shield.

A face shield may be used in addition to wearing a mask.

Owners/operators of public places are required to:

  • Create a mask policy (PDF file) for the establishment.
  • Communicate the mask policy to employees, customers and patrons and have it readily available.
  • Train staff on the Consolidated Mask By-law (PDF file) and your policy, including applicable exemptions.
  • Ensure that all employees, volunteers or patrons wear a mask indoors, unless exempt.
  • Post signage at all entrances and other high visibility areas. Download and print the mandatory mask or face covering poster (PDF file) or create a sign containing the following text:
    • ALL PERSONS ENTERING OR REMAINING IN THESE PREMISES SHALL WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK OR FACE COVERING WHICH COVERS THEIR NOSE, MOUTH AND CHIN AS REQUIRED UNDER THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON BY-LAW 47-20.
    • THE FOLLOWING PERSONS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK / FACE COVERING IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES WITHIN HALTON REGION:
      1. the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;
      2. the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;
      3. the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
      4. the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;
      5. the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
      6. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier;
    • Please be respectful of the rights of individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask in conformity with the exemptions provided in the by-law.
    • To report an incident of noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
    • If you have any questions or concerns, please call 311.
  • Provide a verbal reminder to employees, volunteers and patrons to wear a mask.
  • Consider offering alternative services to patrons who are unable to wear a mask (for example, provide online, telephone, curbside pickup or off-peak hour services).
  • Please note: Businesses must continue to follow additional direction provided by the Ontario government, health and safety associations and/or Halton Region Public Health. Visit covid-19.ontario.ca (external link) or Halton's COVID-19 Information and Guidance for more information.

Employees are required to wear a mask at all times unless they are:

  • exempt under the Consolidated Mask By-law (PDF file);
  • working in an area designated for them (not accessible to the public and able to maintain a physical distance of two metres from others); or
  • working within or behind a physical barrier.

Employees may be required to wear additional protective equipment as required by their employer (for example, gloves, face shield or goggles).

All customers are required to wear a mask in enclosed (indoor) service settings unless they are exempt. The mask must cover their mouth, nose and chin when they enter and remain on for the duration of the visit.

Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 (PDF file) allows for the temporary removal of a mask when receiving a service, such as having a meal. Customers dining in outdoor restaurant patios are not required to wear a mask.

The staff member would be exempt under section 6. iv. of the Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file).

Please keep in mind that not all exemptions are visible. Section 9 of the by-law states that there is no requirement for the employee to provide proof of exemption.

The Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file) states:

  • no person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a mask due to an exemption (section 7)
  • members of the public are not required to provide proof of exemption (section 9)

If a customer has been refused entry, they should seek their own legal advice.

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