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Josh Pringle CTV News Ottawa Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist
@PringleJosh Contact
The scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is urging everyone to get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as Ontario prepares to scrap the vaccine passport for all non-essential settings.
Ontario will lift the proof of vaccination requirements for restaurants, gyms and all indoor settings on Tuesday, meaning patrons won’t be required to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to enter.
Dr. Peter Juni says even though the vaccination requirements are being lifted, we still need immunity to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
"We will continue to need to build immunity, and this ideally will happen through third doses which unfortunately has slowed down the rollout and it will also happen through infections," Dr. Juni said during an interview on CTV News at Six.
Ontario is also set to lift all capacity limits in indoor public settings on Tuesday.
When Ontario announced the new roadmap for lifting COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago, Ottawa’s medical officer of health said, "our strongest protection remains vaccination."
"There are still tens of thousands of older adults who are not yet maximally protected against their higher risk of hospitalization and severe illness by having a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," Dr. Vera Etches said in a statement on Feb. 14.
CTV News anchor Katie Griffin asked Dr. Juni if Ontario could weather any potential uptick in cases as restrictions are relaxed.
“It depends on all of us if we take it slow. We can’t continue with restrictions forever, I think this will work out eventually but we just need to be aware of that there will be a bit of a resurgence and we’ll need to ride it out," Dr. Juni said.
"What will really help, if you hadn’t had your third dose yet, please get it."
While COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required to enter non-essential businesses, Dr. Juni notes getting a third dose will decrease the risk of ending up in a hospital or an ICU with COVID.
Ontario launched the vaccine passport system last September, requiring eligible residents to have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to enter non-essential businesses.
Ottawa Public Health says 63 per cent of Ottawa residents aged 18 and older have received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The data shows 52 per cent of 30 to 39 year olds in Ottawa and 42 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds have received three doses.
You will no longer be required to be fully vaccinated to enter non-essential businesses, as of March 1.
The Ontario government says it will lift the proof of vaccination requirements for all settings.
Yes, businesses can still allow only fully vaccinated people into an establishment.
The Ontario government says businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.
The following businesses will still require visitors aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated to enter.
Ontario is lifting the following restrictions on March 1.
Mask requirements remain in place for all indoor public settings.
Ontario lifted capacity requirements for settings where proof of vaccination is required on Feb. 17, including restaurants and gyms.
A type of vaccine passport using a QR code is seen in this file image. (Shutterstock)
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Full coverage at CTVNews.ca/Coronavirus
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