Vaccines & Rapid Testing

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19. By providing information about COVID-19 vaccination and establishing supportive policies and practices, employers can help increase vaccine uptake among essential workers. 

Effective March 1, 2022, the province no longer requires proof of vaccination to enter certain higher-risk settings. However, businesses are allowed to implement proof of vaccination policies voluntarily should they choose.

Also found on this page is information about local Rapid Testing programs which provide FREE COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Testing Kits for businesses with fewer than 150 employees.

Latest News on Vaccines

The Ontario government is rapidly accelerating its booster dose rollout by expanding eligibility to all individuals aged 12 and over, as well as shortening the interval to three months for those 18 and over following an individual’s second dose.

Learn more about how to book your vaccine here.

Vaccination & Workplaces

Promoting COVID-19 vaccine uptake is a critical piece in helping reduce COVID-19 workplace outbreaks and strengthen confidence for a safer return to work. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best ways to protect your workplace from the risks of COVID-19. It is safe and highly effective at reducing virus spread and protecting against serious illness.

As an employer, you can encourage employees to get vaccinated by creating a supportive environment that make vaccination easy, and sharing COVID-19 vaccine information from credible sources. COVID-19 vaccination provides a strong layer of protection for your employees, their families and the broader community.

Note: The information provided in this document does not contain legal advice and should not be relied on or treated as legal advice. Those for whom these recommendations are intended should seek their own legal advice to address their specific workplace circumstances.

Visit the City of Hamilton’s Vaccination & Workplaces page for full details on how to develop a vaccination policy for your workplace – including steps and key components.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), with guidance from legal experts at McCarthy Tétrault, released Vax-Pass Tenets, a proof-of-vaccination framework to support reopening plans for Ontario private sector businesses. 

The Framework outlines five guiding principles for private sector businesses to adopt in the development of their independent proof-of-vaccination frameworks in the absence of a domestic system.

Implementing proof-of-vaccination will incentivize more people to get vaccinated, allow businesses to safely reopen and mitigate against the risk of further lockdowns. Public health restrictions, such as capacity limits, could then be modified accordingly based on the lower risk involved with close contact among fully vaccinated individuals, achieving the dual purpose of safe community engagement and productive economic recovery.

The Vax-Pass Tenets provide businesses with five principles to consider:

  1. Safety: Businesses must take all steps reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workforce and place of business.
  2. Science: Vax-pass programs should be consistent with current science and public health recommendations on COVID-19.
  3. Accommodation: Businesses must provide human rights-related accommodation to the point of undue hardship.
  4. Privacy: Businesses should use the least intrusive mechanism to verify vaccination status.
  5. Transparency: Businesses should engage in clear and ongoing dialogue with employees and customers to manage understanding and expectations and educate stakeholders about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

Read the Vax-Pass Tenets.

Proof of Vaccination Policy

The provincial proof of vaccination requirements for certain settings is no longer in effect.

Vaccine Certificates for Individuals
To access your enhanced vaccine certificate, click here.

Verify Ontario App for Businesses
Businesses and organizations can now download the free Verify Ontario app from the Apple App and Google Play stores. A free verification app (Verify Ontario) will allow businesses or organizations to read the QR code on the enhanced vaccine certificate, including those for individuals with medical exemptions. This app works with Apple (iOS 11+/iPhone 5S) and Android 6+ devices. The app is compatible with other provincial QR codes. Businesses and organizations are required to use the Verify Ontario app to verify the enhanced vaccine certificate in settings where proof of vaccination is required. Businesses can download the mobile Verify Ontario app by clicking here.

Businesses can also refer to the regulations for more information.

Rapid Testing Programs

The Hamilton and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce are pleased to provide small- and medium-sized businesses in Hamilton, Flamborough, Stoney Creek, Binbrook, Elfrida and Winona with free COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Testing Kits for their workplace.

This benefit for businesses is made possible through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative – an initiative with the Ontario Chamber Network. Rapid testing is quick, easy, and free.


Eligible to participate:

  • Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less. For businesses with over 150 employees, please order directly from the Ontario government portal.
  • Private career colleges and private-designated learning institutions (post-secondary). Tests are available for unvaccinated employees, contractors, volunteers, and students attending campus.
  • Private schools and public schools (elementary and secondary). Tests are available for unvaccinated employees, bus drivers, and regular visitors.
  • Childcare centres. Tests are available for unvaccinated employees and regular visitors. In the case of home-based childcare programs, other unvaccinated adults in residence, or regularly at the residence, also qualify for testing. As of November 10, 2021, individuals subject to testing requirements must now provide verification of negative test results three times per week.
 
HAMILTON:

The Hamilton Rapid Testing pick-up centre is located at 44 Frid Street and operates from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm. Kits cannot be picked up without an appointment.

STONEY CREEK:

The Stoney Creek Rapid Testing centre is located at the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce office (21 Mountain Avenue South). Kits cannot be picked up without an appointment.