Ontario Just Laid Out A Timeline For Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions Over The Next 5 Months

The provincial government just announced its plan to lift and relax several COVID-19 restrictions.

In an announcement on October 22, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that beginning Monday, October 25, the province will begin lifting several public health restrictions in a plan proposed to span over five months.

Here's what the timeline looks like.

October 25, 2021

On Monday, the province will lift capacity limits and social distancing requirements for restaurants, gyms and casinos. Showing proof of vaccination will still be required to enter these settings.

November 15, 2021

Capacity limits for higher-risk settings will be lifted for "food or drink establishments with dance facilities," which would include nightclubs, wedding receptions, strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.

January 17, 2022

Just over a couple of weeks into the new year, further capacity limits may begin to be lifted if no public health and health care concerns arise after the holiday season and the return of students to in-person 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," read the province's news release.

The government might also consider slowly lifting proof of vaccination requirements in January for settings like restaurants, bars, sports facilities, casinos, bingo halls and gaming/recreational facilities.

February 7, 2022

Ontario intends to lift proof-of-vaccination requirements for strip clubs, sex clubs, nightclubs and bathhouses.

March 28, 2022

Depending on how things go, remaining public health safety measures for COVID-19 will be lifted. Additional recommendations for certain settings may also be issued.

Mandatory proof of vaccination will no longer be required for concerts, sporting events, theatres, racing venues, cinemas, commercial and film production venues with studio audiences, as well as meeting/event spaces.

Locally, public health measures might still apply, including reestablishing social distancing or capacity limit rules, bringing down the number of people allowed at gatherings, and possibly reintroducing proof of vaccination, too. in the event that the province's health system is close to being overwhelmed, or if another vax-resistant variant of COVID-19 shows up, public health measures would be re-implemented.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Keran Moore said that the province is now in a position to "see the proposed plan for lifting the remaining public health and workplace safety measures in Ontario," and that the coming months will require Ontarians to remain vigilant.

"We don't want to cause any more unnecessary disruption to people's everyday lives," he said in the press release.

In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.

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