Province to lift more capacity limits on Monday and all COVID-19 measures by March, including mask mandate

Province to lift more capacity limits on Monday and all COVID-19 measures by March, including mask mandate

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Province to lift more capacity limits on Monday and all COVID-19 measures by March, including mask mandate's Profile


Ontario is lifting COVID-19 capacity limits in restaurants, bars, gyms, casinos and indoor meeting and event spaces on Monday.

On Friday, the province outlined a plan for lifting all COVID-19 measures include masking requirements by March.

Premier Doug Ford says Ontario is in a position to gradually lift all restrictions over the coming months thanks to the province’s cautious and careful approach to re-opening.

The seven-day average of daily COVID-19 cases is stable, as are the rates of hospitalization and ICU admissions, and nearly 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The province says proof-of-vaccination requirements will also start to be lifted early next year, but only if trends don’t become concerning, starting with restaurants, bars, gyms and casinos in January.

Ontario is aiming to lift all remaining measures and emergency orders, on March 28, 2022.

“This plan is built for the long term,” said Ford. “It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made.”

Province’s timeline for easing restrictions

October 25, 2021

At this time, the government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
  • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Indoor areas of amusement parks;
  • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;
  • Indoor tour and guide services;
  • Boat tours;
  • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

This will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies. In addition, the government intends to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades with more details coming in the near future.

November 15, 2021

The government intends to lift capacity limits in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing); strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.

January 17, 2022

In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care following the winter holiday months and after students returned to in-class learning, the province intends to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will also lift CMOH directives as appropriate.

Proof of vaccination requirements may also begin to be gradually lifted at this time, including for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, facilities used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.

February 7, 2022

The government intends to lift proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings, including night clubs, strip clubs, and bathhouses and sex clubs.

March 28, 2022

At this time, it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings. Recommendations may be released for specific settings, if appropriate.

In addition, the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units will be deployed based on local context and conditions. Public health measures that may be applied locally could include reintroducing capacity limits and/or physical distancing, reducing gathering limits and adding settings where proof of vaccination is required, among others. Public health measures would be implemented provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the province’s health system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or if a vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant is identified in the province.

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