Saturday, April 20

Ontario to end COVID-19 vaccine passport system March 1

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday announced the end of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system, effective March 1. The vaccine passport system required people to offer proof of vaccination for a multitude of activities, from shopping to the gym to restaurants.

Ford said the decision was in the works “long before” seven days of protests and a blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit. The protesting, spurred by COVID-19 restrictions and a trucker vaccine mandate, had threatened the economies of both nations. 

Ford said the end of the vaccine passport system, whose federal version has inspired a weeks-long trucker convoy in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, comes “not because of what’s happening in Ottawa or Windsor, but despite it.”

Along with the end of vaccine passports, capacity limits for personal gatherings and public events will be removed.

“We’re moving in this direction because it is safe to do so,” Ford said. “Through the advice of (Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of health for Ontario), we accepted the passports. Through the advice of Dr. Moore, we’re going to get rid of the passports.

Added Moore: “All of the metrics are improving dramatically in terms of the number of people hospitalized, the number of people in intensive care units, the percentage of tests that are positive. So we’ll continue to monitor those data sets.”

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