Ontario to Gradually Ease COVID-19 Restrictions

Ontario to Gradually Ease COVID-19 Restrictions: “The Worst is Behind”

Starting on January 31, 2022, the Ontario government will begin the process of gradually easing some public health measures. Moreover, the province plans to lift most of the remaining measures by mid-March.

“The evidence tells us that the measures we put in place to blunt transmission of Omicron are working,” said Premier Doug Ford at a morning news conference Thursday. “We can be confident that the worst is behind us and that we are now in a position to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures.”

Effective January 31, 2022

Ontario will increase social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Moreover, it will increase/ maintain capacity limits at 50% in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food establishments without dancing;
  • Retailers, including shopping malls;
  • Gyms and non-spectator areas of sports facilities;
  • Cinemas;
  • Meeting and event spaces;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, and similar attractions;
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments; and
  • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.

In addition, spectator areas (arenas and concert venues, theatres) will also be open at 50% capacity or up to 500 people, whichever is less, the government said in a news release. Of course, proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply.

Effective February 21, 2022

Ontario will lift public health measures, including:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Removing capacity limits on all indoor spaces that require proof of vaccination.
  • Allowing spectator capacity of up to 50% at sporting events, concerts, and theatres.
  • Limiting capacity in most other indoor spaces -that do not require proof of vaccination- to the number of people who can maintain a physical distance of two metres.
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25% for remaining “high-risk settings” that require proof of vaccination. This includes places such as nightclubs, wedding receptions in event spaces with dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs.

Also, enhanced proof of vaccination and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.

Effective March 14, 2022

According to the government, all capacity limits on indoor spaces will be lifted. However, proof of vaccination and masking requirements will continue to remain in places where they already exist.

In addition, Ontario will lift all capacity limits for religious services, rites, or ceremonies. Also, it will increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings.

About travel restrictions

As of January 15, 2022, all foreign nationals must be fully vaccinated to enter Canada. Moreover, Canada limited travel restriction exemptions “to a small proportion of IRCC’s clients,” says an update from the government. You can read more about it in the following article:

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