When Ontario premier, Doug Ford, announced on September 1 that the province would set up its vaccine passport system, it raised the question if the said certificate will also be required to access the facilities and amenities found inside apartments and condominiums.
According to Ford, proof of vaccination will already be necessary starting September 22 to access public establishments and events like indoor restaurants, nightclubs and casinos, and indoor sporting events, including movie theaters and concerts.
But the big question is, will this proof of vaccination cover facilities and amenities found inside condos and apartment complexes? According to a statement from the provincial government of Ontario, the answer is no since these cannot be considered as “public settings or facilities.”
The statement emphasized that the respective boards of condominiums and apartments “may implement their own rules” regarding the use of their gyms or media rooms.”
In this line, the statement also stressed that they “may wish to consult their legal counsel if they consider such a measure.”
Josh Milgrom, an attorney for Toronto’s Lash Condo Law, acknowledged that the provincial government was right when it highlighted that it was up to condos and apartments to implement a vaccine requirement for their facilities and amenities or not.
He said that condo buildings have “an obligation to ensure the property is reasonably safe” and manage the amenities to “prevent dangerous conditions on the property.” This obligation is primarily aimed at maintaining “a safe and healthy workplace for those working” on the building or establishment, Milgrom added.
The lawyer for Lash Condo Law highlighted that it is also possible that the “requirements may vary from amenity to amenity” and noted that all requirements “would be subject to legitimate human rights-related exceptions.”
He even related that “the decision about implementing a proof of vaccination requirement may depend on the type of amenity and the risk of transmission in that particular amenity, for example, an outdoor terrace versus an indoor gym.”
However, Milgrom shared that should mandatory proof of vaccination be imposed on an apartment or condominium, residents who are still unvaccinated would not receive discounts on the amenities and facilities they can’t use.
He pointed out that these residents would still be required to pay their entire condo or apartment fees.