Here’s The Timeline For The Lifting Of COVID-19 Restrictions In Ontario

Friday October 22nd, 2021

Posted at 2:21pm

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Premier Doug Ford has announced the province’s pathway out of the pandemic, officials announced Friday afternoon.

“Thanks to our cautious and careful approach to re-opening, we are now in position to gradually lift all remaining public health measures over the coming months,” said Ford. “This plan is built for the long term. It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made.”

The government says they will slowly and incrementally lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures in Ontario, including the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination and wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings, over the next six months.

They say the phased approach will be “guided by the ongoing assessment and monitoring of key public health and health care indicators, such as the identification of any new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations and ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission to ensure that public health and workplace safety measures are lifted safely.”

Here’s the timeline for easing restrictions:

October 25th, 2021

The government says “in response to continued improvements to key indicators, including ongoing stability in the province’s hospitals” effective October 25th at 12:01am, the government will lift capacity limits in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required, such as restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gyms and where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and indoor meeting and event spaces. Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

The government says they will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

    • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
    • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
    • Indoor areas of amusement parks;
    • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;
    • Indoor tour and guide services;
    • Boat tours;
    • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;
    • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
    • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
    • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

The government says this will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies. In addition, the government intends to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades with more details coming in the near future.

November 15th, 2021

The government plans to lift capacity limits in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing); strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.

January 17th, 2022

The government says in the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care following the winter holiday months and after students returned to in-class 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.

They say proof of vaccination requirements may also begin to be gradually lifted at this time, including for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, facilities used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.

February 7th, 2022

The government intends to lift proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings, including night clubs, strip clubs, and bathhouses and sex clubs.

March 28th, 2022

The government says it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings.

They say the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, they say local and regional responses by public health units will be deployed based on local context and conditions. They say public health measures that may be applied locally could include reintroducing capacity limits and/or physical distancing, reducing gathering limits and adding settings where proof of vaccination is required, among others.

The government says public health measures would be implemented provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the province’s health system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or if a vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant is identified in the province.

“We are now in a position where we can see the proposed plan for lifting the remaining public health and workplace safety measures in Ontario,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “The months ahead will require continued vigilance, as we don’t want to cause anymore unnecessary disruption to people’s everyday lives. We must continue to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities by following the public health measures in place and by vaccinating those who have not yet received their shots. Ontario has the infrastructure in place to manage outbreaks, including a high-volume capacity for testing, and people to perform fast and effective case and contact management when needed.”

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