Indoor events at care homes have also been okayed by the province.
It might be the best news for Ontario's seniors in a full year — it's time to hug again.
According to a statement from the province, vaccination rates are now at the point where long-term care homes in Ontario can resume activities like communal dining, indoor events and gatherings, and hugs — with some caveats.
Ontario's new directive allows fully vaccinated long-term care residents and their fully vaccinated caregivers to have "close physical contact" beyond what is required for caregiving — "such as hugging," the province says.
Masks are still required when residents aren't eating in a communal space, and residents must still physically distance whenever they're gathered in a room for events.
"The high vaccination uptake in long-term care homes means we can take further steps towards bringing social interactions back — supporting the mental and emotional well-being of residents while protecting their physical well-being," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario's minister of long-term care, in the statement.