The Government of Ontario is “cautiously” lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required.
The Ministry of Health announced the measure, which also applies to certain outdoor settings that have a capacity limit below 20,000, on October 8.
As of 12:01 am on October 9, capacity limits will be lifted at concert venues, theatres, cinemas, and spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities.
The measure also permits 100% capacity at horse and car racing tracks, commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences, and outdoor meeting and event spaces.
Officials noted that there have been a “limited number” of COVID-19 outbreaks in these settings.
The physical distancing requirement will be lifted in these settings, but other health measures, such as wearing face coverings, will continue to be in place.
“Our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know proof of vaccination requirements are providing an added layer of protection,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“The fight against COVID-19 is not over and we must all remain vigilant by continuing to follow the public health measures we know work and keep us safe, and receiving your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already done so.”
The province noted that the decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and is possible due to improving public health indicators.
Since Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirement went into effect last month, more than 86.8% of residents aged 12 and older have had their first dose, and over 81.9% are fully immunized.
“I am thankful for the continued efforts of Ontarians getting vaccinated and following public health measures and advice as we have continued to cautiously and gradually reopen the province,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“However, now is not the time to let our guard down. We must all continue doing our part and continue strictly following the measures that remain in place and get as many people as we can fully vaccinated, especially as we enter the holiday season.”