All Ontarians vaccinated against COVID-19 can now download their enhanced certificates, which include a QR code.
The provincial government has said the scannable documents will allow for faster entry into settings that require proof of vaccination.
The enhanced system officially takes effect on Friday, but Ontarians can get their new vaccine certificates before then, and businesses can start using a new app to verify those codes.
Residents whose birthdays fall between January and April were able to download the enhanced vaccination certificate through the province’s COVID-19 website on Friday, and further cohorts got access over the weekend.
Under Ontario’s vaccine certificate program, only those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — or have a valid medical exemption from a doctor — can access certain settings.
They include theatres, gyms, nightclubs and restaurant dining rooms.
Ontario on Monday reported 373 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. According to the province’s health minister, there were 168 people in ICU due to COVID-19. Christine Elliott noted, however, that not all hospitals report data on weekends.
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan will be transferring six COVID-19 patients to Ontario over the next 72 hours as the Prairie province deals with immense pressure on its health-care system.
Saskatchewan’s hospitalizations dashboard showed 85 COVID-19 patients in intensive care on Monday, topping previous highs. There are normally 79 ICU beds in the province, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
— From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 5:15 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of late Monday morning, more than 240.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
In Europe, the U.K. reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in three months on Monday with 49,156 new infections.
Italy’s president on Monday strongly criticized the violence that has erupted amid protests over the country’s new coronavirus workplace health pass requirement, saying it appeared aimed at jeopardizing Italy’s economic recovery.
President Sergio Mattarella spoke out as riot police again clashed with protesters at the port in the northern city of Trieste, at times using water canons to push them back.
Italy on Friday became the first major European economy to require all workers — from hairdressers to factory workers — to present proof of vaccination, a negative test within the past 48 hours or proof of having recently recovered from COVID-19 in order to enter workplaces.
Meanwhile, Russia’s total number of coronavirus infections has topped eight million, more than five per cent of the population, and the daily infection toll topped previous highs with 34,325 new infections over the past day. The national coronavirus task force on Monday also reported 998 new deaths from COVID-19.
In the Americas, the NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s sports fans will be allowed to attend full-capacity events at all stadiums and other sports facilities starting on Sunday, the country’s ministry of sports announced in a statement on Saturday.
In Africa, South Africa’s drugs regulator said on Monday that it was not approving an emergency use application for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 shot for now, citing concerns about its safety for people at risk of HIV.
Egypt will mandate that public sector employees must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or take a weekly coronavirus test to be allowed to work in government buildings after Nov. 15, a cabinet statement said on Sunday.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand will stop using the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac when its current stock finishes, a senior official said. Thailand has used the shot extensively in combination with Western-developed vaccines.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country’s biggest city, Auckland, will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
— From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:15 p.m. ET