Barrie, Ont. –
When Ontario’s new vaccination requirements take effect Wednesday, it will be up to companies to manage the approval of proof of vaccination or face possible fines.
But some local business owners feel the responsibility is misplaced.
“We are bartenders and waiters. We are not medical professionals,” said Dana Parris, owner of The Lockerroom.
“And I feel like it’s a bit of a stab to put us in that position,” Parris added.
To streamline the process, The Lockerroom in Barrie is working on a homemade physical vaccine certificate for regulars ahead of the provincial QR code rollout next month.
“Once we have verified that they have been vaccinated, that they associate it with their ID, then we give them their own card, so that they do not have to take out every little document when they go. their next visit, ”Parris explained.
The goal is also to avoid awkward encounters.
Parris said they were still working out the logistics of who will be responsible for requesting proof of vaccination and when.
“Like most other restaurants in Ontario, we are all struggling. A little short of staff.”
She said hiring someone to hold the door just isn’t realistic.
“I really don’t have it in the budget. Over the past 18 months, with the number of closures, we have to hire a security guard to ask everyone when they are coming in?”
Restaurants and bars are not the only establishments supposed to check vaccination certificates.
Steven Fontaine, executive director of the Barrie Minor Hockey Association, said the government’s expectations have caused “confusion”.
The province requires that parents who watch their children play hockey be fully immunized, but not the children who play.
However, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) announced earlier this month that all eligible players would be required to be fully immunized.
“The OMHA will require that all eligible participants involved in minor hockey be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the coming season. All eligible participants must be fully immunized by October 31, 2021, ”he said in a statement.
Fontaine said the organization plans to meet again this weekend. “We hope for a clearer picture early next week.”
He said a dozen players withdrew once the vaccine’s mandate was announced, and others suddenly felt safe enough to sign up.
Fontaine said if league policy changes, it could mean another roster reshuffle.
Meanwhile, Parris tries to stay optimistic about the new policy.
“It’s better than confinement,” she concluded.
The province said businesses and customers could face fines starting as low as $ 750 for failing to meet new vaccination requirements.