COVID-19 in Ontario: How long will you have to show proof of vaccine? Ontario's top doctor reveals residents must get through 'difficult holiday times' first

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Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, spoke about the province's "slow and steady approach" to removing COVID-19 public health measure, but proof of vaccination is likely to remain until after the holiday season.

"What we see is a phased removal of domains requiring verification of your immunization, as we have very low rates across Ontario," Dr. Moore said at a press conference on Thursday. "So we may not require them in some venues but still require them in mass gathering."

"The risk times are always holidays and then two to three weeks after it, so I can’t see us eliminating them until after we get through some of the difficult holiday times. If we continue to make great progress in our immunization strategy, I could see us eliminating these public health measures sooner."

Dr. Moore stressed that the provincial vaccine certification process will not end suddenly, but there will be a "phased exit over time." He added that Ontarians could see regional responses to address COVID-19 activity in more localized areas.

This comes following reports that the Ontario government will announce its plan for lifting public health health measures next week.

As Scotiabank Arena in Toronto saw it's first full-capacity NHL hockey game this week, Dr. Moore also highlighted that the proof of vaccination system is a "risk reduction strategy" for these mass gatherings.

"It’s not a risk elimination," he said. 

"Going to these venues, I hope people that go there are healthy... If you have any risk to your health I would not advise going to a mass gathering, at any point, even [two dose vaccinated.]"

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