Ontario has officially revealed that it’s moving to the next stage of its re-opening timeline beginning on February 17th. This will involve the lifting of further public health restrictions on February 18th and the end of vaccine certificates by March 1st.
“Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave we are able to fast track our reopening plan,” said Ford. “This is great news and a sign of just how far we’ve come together in our fight against the virus. While we aren’t out of the woods just yet we are moving in the right direction.”
On February 18th, the social gathering limit will increase to 50 indoor and 100 outdoors, and capacity limits will be removed where proof of vaccination is required, such as restaurants, bars and cinemas. Nightclubs will increase to having a 25% capacity while concert and sports venues will be permitted to have a 50% capacity indoors.
By March 1st, Ontario says it will lift its proof of vaccination requirements for all settings This doesn’t mean you should do away with your certificate just yet – businesses can still choose to require proof of vaccination at previously eligible locations. The announcement says that ease of restrictions will last as long as “things go well.”
Masking will also be required beyond March 1st.
“Thanks to the efforts of Ontarians to help blunt the transmission of Omicron, our health care indicators suggest a general improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the province,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Local health units will also have the authority to implement local and regional responses beginning March 1st.