Ontario's Reopening Plan That Will Lift Restrictions Over The Next Few Months Starts Today

Here's what you need to know.

Toronto Staff Writer
Ontario's Reopening Plan That Will Lift Restrictions Over The Next Few Months Starts Today

Ontario has just revealed a new plan to gradually lift public health restrictions, and it's a multi-step process.

The Ontario government released a list of detailed steps outlining the province's schedule for easing COVID-19 restrictions, starting on January 31, 2022.

The province outlines several key dates, including January 31, 2022, February 21, 2022, and March 14, 2022, each of which will see the government ease certain restrictions.

“The evidence tells us that the measures we put in place to blunt transmission of Omicron are working,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“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. While February will continue to present its own challenges, given current trends these are challenges we are confident we can manage.”

January 31, 2022

On January 31, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will begin easing certain public health measures.

Gathering limits will increase to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

A majority of businesses will also open at or maintain 50% capacity, including:

  • "Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
  • Shopping malls;
  • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
  • Cinemas;
  • Meeting and event spaces;
  • Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, and similar attractions; and
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies."
On top of this, sporting events, concert venues and theatres will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, or 500 people, whichever is less.

It's also worth noting that proof of vaccination and other requirements will continue to apply in certain settings.

February 21, 2022

The next date in the reopening timeline will mark more significant changes, including increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

On top of that, capacity limits for indoor settings will be removed for spots where vaccine certificates are required (such as restaurants, cinemas and more).

Other changes include:

  • "Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Limiting capacity in most remaining indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance.
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required.
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs."

March 14, 2022

The final date will see Ontario get rid of even more public health measures, including lifting capacity limits in all indoor settings. Capacity limits will also be lifted on religious services and ceremonies.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people, but there will be no limit for outdoor gatherings.

Proof of vaccination will still be required in existing settings, the government says.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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