Toronto Zoo Vaccination Policy
Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic we have been reviewing our operations and developing processes to ensure the safety of our teams, guests and the animals in our care. As a next step and additional precaution, we will also be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for our guests, members and all who enter Zoo grounds beginning October 25th, 2021. This builds on our mandatory vaccination policy for our staff and volunteers as we continue to do our best to protect our teams, guests, COVID-19 susceptible animals, and our broader community. As per our Code of Conduct, we expect all of our guests, staff, and volunteers to treat one another—as well as Zoo animals and wildlife—with respect and care. We appreciate everyone's understanding and patience as we navigate this new policy. For more information, please read our press release and see our FAQ below.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do Toronto Zoo Staff and Volunteers have to be vaccinated?
- Yes. On August 20, 2021 Your Toronto Zoo announced its implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy for Zoo staff and volunteers to further protect our workplace, our guests, our COVID-19 susceptible animals, and our broader community. This policy requires all staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by October 30th, 2021. For more information, please read our press release.
- Will the Toronto Zoo be implementing mandatory vaccinations for guests and members?
- Yes – your Toronto Zoo is continuously reviewing our health and safety policies in order to provide safe and healthy environment for all to enjoy. With the recent implementation of Ontario Regulation 364/20, requiring vaccination policies be instituted for certain high-risk settings, our Zoo has decided to implement a vaccine policy for our guest and members in a greater effort to safeguard our staff, volunteers, guests, our COVID-19 susceptible animals and our broader community. We will be implementing a site-wide mandatory vaccine policy for all guests, members contractors, vendors and business partners who are eligible to receive the approved COVID-19 vaccines beginning October 25, 2021.
- Why is the Toronto Zoo now extending its mandated vaccine policy to include guests, members, contractors, vendors and business partners?
- Our decision to implement this policy is based on many factors, including our responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, our guests and our animals. As a science-based institution, we fully support the evidence that vaccination protects individuals from serious illness and COVID-19 spread. It is also important to understand that some of our animals are susceptible to COVID-19 illness, including gorillas, orangutans, tigers and lions. We must do everything we can to protect our animals and in particular, endangered species from developing illness due to COVID-19.
The scientific-evidence is clear that vaccines work to save lives. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important tools we can deploy to protect each other, our COVID-19 susceptible animals, and our community.
- If I want to eat at the Zoo restaurants do I need to be fully vaccinated?
- Yes, but only for dining indoors. As of September 22, 2021 Zoo staff, volunteers, guests, members or contractors who want to DINE IN at a restaurant facility at the Zoo they will be required to show proof of vaccination to do so. Take out at the restaurants is still permitted for now without proof of vaccination.
- Who is considered fully vaccinated (this includes those that were vaccinated outside of Canada)?
- An individual is considered fully vaccinated if they have received two doses (full series) of COVID-19 Vaccine approved and authorized by Health Canada, including Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca (including CoviShield) in any combination; one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada (ie. received vaccine outside of Canada that was approved by World Health Organization) followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada; or first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) and/or approved by Health Canada.
- If I am renting an event space, am I required to show proof of vaccination?
- Yes, as of September 22, 2021, under Ont. Gov. Reg 364/20, indoor areas of meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls, conference and convention centres requires those entering to provide proof of vaccination. This includes spaces rented at Your Zoo for events.
- Who will be checking the vaccinations at the front entrance?
- Toronto Zoo Guest Relations staff will be checking the vaccination documents upon entry, and Toronto Zoo Safety and Security staff will be present on the bridge at the front entrance reminding guests of the policy and requirements as they arrive.
- I have a Zoo Membership but I am not vaccinated. Can I get a refund on my Membership after October 25th?
- If you are a current Toronto Zoo Member and you will not be fulfilling the vaccination requirements after October 25th, you may be entitled to a pro-rated refund, depending on the time remaining on the Membership and the usage, minus an $20.00 administration fee. This administration fee is non-negotiable. To find out more about how we can help you with your existing Membership and possible changes based on the vaccination policy, please contact our Membership Team at [email protected].
- What happens if I arrive after October 25th and do not have proof of vaccination?
- Non-compliance with our vaccination policy will result in the guests not being permitted entrance to the Zoo. Guests can only enter when they can provide the required documentation.
- Do I need proof of vaccination to attend Terra Lumina?
- Yes – your Toronto Zoo is continuously reviewing our health and safety policies in order to provide safe and healthy environment for all to enjoy. With the recent implementation of Ontario Regulation 364/20, requiring vaccination policies be instituted for certain high-risk settings, our Zoo has decided to implement a vaccine policy for our guest and members in a greater effort to safeguard our staff, volunteers, guests, our COVID-19 susceptible animals and our broader community. We will be implementing a site-wide mandatory vaccine policy for all guests, members contractors, vendors and business partners who are eligible to receive the approved COVID-19 vaccines beginning October 25, 2021, including Terra Lumina attendees.
Providing Proof of Vaccination
- What will I need to present as official proof of vaccination to visit the Zoo on October 25, 2021?
- It is anticipated that on October 22, Ontario will introduce an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code, which is safe, more secure and with you wherever you go. This digital vaccine receipt can be kept on a phone and easily used to show that you've been vaccinated if you need to. In addition, the province will launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting your privacy. At that time, guests may also present a paper or digital version of the PDF receipt, or a paper or digital version of the enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code. In the event the digitized vaccine passport is not yet available, you will need to provide proof of identity that shows your name and date of birth, and proof of vaccination (your vaccine receipt demonstrating you are fully vaccinated and the final dose was taken at least 14 days ago). You may provide either a paper or digital copy of your vaccination receipt that includes your name, date of vaccination, and brand of vaccine. You can use the receipt you were given at your second dose. You cannot alter the appearance of your receipt in any way.
- What do I need to provide as proof of vaccine to enter in order to dine inside Zoo Restaurants?
- From September 22 to October 22, you must provide: proof of identity that shows your name and date of birth, and proof of vaccination (your vaccine receipt demonstrating you are fully vaccinated and the final dose was taken at least 14 days ago). You can provide either a paper or digital copy of your vaccination receipt that includes your: name, date of vaccination and brand of vaccine at the time of vaccination. You can use the receipt you were given at your second dose. You cannot alter the appearance of your receipt in any way.
- Do minors between the ages of 12-17 need to provide identification as they may not have identification to verify their identity?
- If somebody is required to be fully vaccinated, they must prove both vaccination status and identity. The identification requirements are flexible, and identification is required to confirm only name of the person and date of birth – government identification can be used for this purpose; however, is not the only type of ID accepted. Proof of identity can be established using documentation issued by an institution or public body, provided it includes the name of the holder and date of birth. Identification that young people may have access to that include name and date of birth could include birth certificate, or a passport, among other forms of ID.
- What are the proof of vaccination requirements for Indigenous partners?
- Your Zoo is following the lead from the Ontario Government who is committed to ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations, including ensuring OCAP principles are fully met. A receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider may be used as proof of vaccination. An Indian Status Card or an Indigenous Membership Card with the name and date of birth are appropriate documentation to provide proof of identity.
- Does a previous COVID-19 infection or a recent negative test allow people who are not fully vaccinated to be considered fully vaccinated?
- No. A negative COVID-19 test or recent COVID-19 infection is not the same as being fully vaccinated. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends individuals with prior COVID-19 infection be immunized as it protects them from reinfection given the emergency of new strains and variants of concern (VOCs).
- Can I prove I'm fully vaccinated with documents that are from out of province or out of country?
- Yes. Guests from outside the province or the country will be required to show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination from outside of Ontario will be accepted if the person’s name and date of birth on their identification document matches the vaccination receipt with name and date of birth and if the person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- What if my teenager (aged 12 to 17) doesn’t have any ID?
- Only the name and date of birth are required on ID. Government ID such as a birth certificate or passport can be used for this purpose, but this is not the only type of ID accepted. Proof of identity requires name and date of birth on documents issued by institutions or another public body.
- What if I don’t have a smartphone?
- You do not need a smartphone to present your proof of vaccination status. A paper copy of your vaccination record from the provincial portal as well as ID will be sufficient.
- I don’t like the idea that the Zoo has access to my personal health information. How are you keeping this information?
- The Toronto Zoo is not keeping any personal health information.
- What if I don’t want to disclose my vaccination status?
- It is your discretion to determine whether you would like to disclose your vaccination status. Should you decide not to divulge this information, you will not be able to enter our Toronto Zoo.
- Does proof of vaccination have to be provided prior to ticket purchase?
- Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is required, at the point of entry to Your Zoo. If you pre-book and pre-purchase a ticket and you don’t have proof of vaccine, you will be unable to enter our site. This will be communicated at time of on-line booking and ticket purchase. A full refund will be provided.
- Will those who are 12 years old or under be permitted to visit the Zoo?
- Yes, persons under the age of 12, or those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, are exempt from this policy and may enter without proof of vaccination. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.
- If I have a medical exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, will I be accommodated to enter our Zoo?
- Yes, those with medical exemptions will be able to enter our Zoo but you must provide a valid medical document that must include the following proof of medical exemption: the name and contact information of the physician or nurse practitioner, a logo or letterhead identifying the physician or registered nurse in the extended class, a statement that there is a medical reason for your exemption for being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and an effective time-period for the medical reason within the date you are seeking access to the business or organization.
- Are medical notes from outside the province, or country valid?
- Out of province or out of country medical documentation will be honoured in Ontario if your name, your physician’s name and physician’s contact information are provided. The note must clearly state that there is a medical reason for you to not be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the effective time-period for the medical reason. After Oct 22nd, persons from outside of Ontario will need to provide proof of vaccine as above.
- Will those who carry medical exemptions need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test?
- No, individuals with medical exemptions will not be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
- What if I can present a negative COVID test result, can I visit the Zoo?
- No. Proof of negative COVID-19 tests will not be accepted as an alternative to verification of full vaccination status
- If I previously had COVID-19 and did not get vaccinated, can I visit the Zoo?
- No. Having previously tested positive for COVID-19 does not preclude you from the requirements of this policy to be fully vaccinated.