Changes to the vaccine passport program could be coming.
Premier Doug Ford is reportedly meeting with his cabinet this morning to consider what public health measures to enact amid the worsening COVID-19 situation in Ontario.
CTV News Toronto reports that Ford was given many options to consider earlier this week, like potentially closing down schools for some time before and after the winter break and moving Ontario back into Step 3 of its reopening plan. But the provincial government was not yet ready to make any big changes to its current public health measures and will instead be "focusing on new guidance," over Christmas, according to CTV.
CityNews reports that Ford will take part in a cabinet meeting at 10 a.m.
The province will not be lifting the requirement for vaccine certificates in certain settings as originally planned for on January 17, and will be ditching the paper versions to rely solely on QR codes instead, according to CityNews.
As of Thursday, Ontario is reporting nearly 1,300 new COVID-19 cases, which CityNews says is the highest in over six months.
Dr. Peter Juni, the scientific director of Ontario's Science Advisory Table, told Narcity in a recent interview that proof of vaccination requirements wouldn't be lifted in January.
"You don't have to be a prophet to understand that it's impossible to lift it now, this would be foolhardy if we did so," Juni said. "What was being said by the CMOH, by Dr. Moore was, they will look at the epidemiological situation at that time, and would see this as the earliest possible time point to lift it and it's very obvious right now where we are that Dr. Moore will not lift any requirements for vaccine certificates, etc."
Earlier this week, Ontario announced it will be pausing its reopening plan indefinitely, meaning that higher-risk settings like nightclubs, strip clubs, sex clubs, bathhouses and other food or drink establishments with dance floors wouldn't have their capacity limits lifted as planned.
On Monday, Minister of Health Christine Elliott hinted that the reopening timeline could change given the rising concerns of the Omicron variant in Ontario.
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