The Province of Ontario announced that effective September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (which they define as having two vaccination doses for at least 14 days) and provide proof of vaccination status along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. The Province is implementing a “vaccine passport” initiative in “higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn”.

The vaccine passport system applies to “indoor meeting and event spaces” and “facilities used for sports and fitness activities such as gyms and recreational, with the exception of youth recreational sport”. While condominiums are not “public settings” in the conventional sense, there are many areas within the condominium that are considered public settings (albeit only to residents/guests of the condo) such as party rooms, gyms and pools. It is our opinion that the vaccine passport system would apply to condos with party rooms, indoor gyms, courts, fitness studios or pools.

Residents will be required to prove their vaccination status before entering these facilities. The Province is expected to provide procedural clarification but we anticipate that front-desk staff, concierge and property managers will need to review vaccine receipts before permitting entry. We anticipate that residents will only need to provide proof of vaccination on a one-time basis as these facilities are specifically intended for a smaller segment of the population – in other words, actual residents and their guests – and one cannot get unvaccinated.

COVID is one of the greatest challenges of our time and the vaccine passport is added work for condo residents and staff. We expect the vaccine passport will be controversial to some, but one of the key features of condo living is that it is communal: therefore, everyone needs to cooperate and work together in the collective interest of the community. We are optimistic the vaccine passport will bring us closer to a return to normalcy.