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Ontario set to announce stronger COVID-19 measures for proof of vaccination

Ontario is dropping its tentative plan to end its vaccine passport program in mid-January and will require all proof of vaccination certificates to include QR codes, CBC News has learned. 

Province dropping tentative plan to end vaccine passport program in mid-January

Ontario had previously indicated that requiring proof of vaccines in settings such as restaurants, bars and cinemas would no longer be required after Jan.17, but a senior official said the government is taking that end date off the table. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario is dropping its tentative plan to end the provincial vaccine passport program in mid-January and will require all proof of vaccination certificates to include QR codes, CBC News has learned. 

The measures are to be announced today. A senior government official provided the details in advance. 

The official also said there are no plans to shut down the province's schools before the winter holidays one week from tomorrow.   

The anticipated move comes as the province reported 1,290 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the most on a single day since May 24, nearly six and a half months ago.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, was scheduled to hold a briefing on the COVID-19 situation on Thursday, which was postponed until 2 p.m. today, when he is expected to make the formal announcement.

The province had previously indicated that requiring proof of vaccines in settings such as restaurants, bars and cinemas would no longer be required after Jan. 17.

But a senior official said the government is taking that end date off the table and is making the proof-of-vaccine system end date indefinite.

The reason for only accepting vaccine certificates with QR codes is to crack down on fraudulent vaccine certificates, the source says.

Officials say the two measures will enhance Ontario's efforts to get more of the province's population vaccinated against COVID-19.

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