Ottawa Bylaw not expecting a 'huge increase' in calls due to COVID-19 vaccine passports
A server brings an order to patrons on a steakhouse's outdoor patio in Ottawa on the first day of Ontario's first phase of re-opening amidst the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Bylaw is not expecting a "huge increase" in calls when Ontario's new COVID-19 vaccine passport rolls out next week.
Starting Sept. 22, people will be required to provide proof of full vaccination to access non-essential businesses, including the indoor areas of restaurants and bars, indoor areas of meeting and event spaces, indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities, concert venues, theatres, cinemas and sporting venues.
The Ontario government says businesses and organizations will be responsible for ensuring they meet the requirements regarding proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses.
Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman told the Community and Protective Services Committee meeting on Thursday that staff are currently reviewing the regulations, and informing staff on the regulations and requirements.
"Quite honestly, we're surprised that the regulations are such that they are, they're very basic I think," said Chapman. "When you're talking about restaurants, it's indoors only. Inside some of the sports facilities and such, the passport is required. "
Coun. Diane Deans asked Chapman if Ottawa Bylaw is prepared to respond to any calls regarding the COVID-19 vaccine passport non-compliance.
"We're not anticipating a huge increase in call volume related to this. I think that, particularly, the restaurant industry has been very good at following the regulations," said Chapman.
"We always have some establishments that we have to deal with, but by and large they're very compliant, so we're not anticipating a huge increase in service requests."
Ottawa Bylaw will be meeting with local BIAs on Friday to outline the COVID-19 proof of vaccination rules and regulations.
Chapman says any businesses facing issues with customers can contact 311 or Ottawa police.
"I would suggest that would be a call directly to 311 or to the police's non-emergency phone line. I think if you've got somebody who's refusing to produce proof of their vaccine and the restaurant management is having some difficulty with that person, they should be contacting the police immediately so that somebody can attend and help facilitate the interaction," said Chapman.
Here is a list of settings that will require proof of vaccination, starting Sept. 22.
- Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities
- Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restaurants, clubs and other similar establishments
- Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces
- Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including waterparks, and personal physical fitness training with limited exemptions. This includes gyms, fitness/sporting/recreational facilities, pools, leagues, sporting events, waterparks, and indoor areas of facilities where spectators watch events
- Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
- Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas
- Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs
- Indoor areas of horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues
- Indoor areas where commercial film and TV productions take place with studio audiences.