The Government of Ontario plans to lift both its proof of vaccination requirement and mask mandate by the end of March 2022.
At a press conference on Friday, officials released a new plan to safely reopen the province and manage COVID-19 long-term.
The plan details how Ontario hopes to lift remaining public health and workplace safety measures over the next several months.
In the absence of “concerning” trends, such as rising hospitalization rates, the proof of vaccination requirement will lift for select settings on January 17, 2022.
Come January, the measure will no longer be in place at bars, restaurants, sports and recreational facilities, casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments.
“We have always been cautious. I’m going to be super cautious,” Premier Doug Ford said.
“If we do not see the numbers in a stable place, then we just aren’t going to do it. It’s as simple as that.”
On March 28, 2022, face coverings will no longer be required in indoor public settings. The province noted that sector-specific recommendations may be released closer to the day.
At that time, the proof of vaccination requirement will lift for all remaining settings, such as meeting and event spaces, concerts, and cinemas.
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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has taken a cautious approach to reopening to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“Our plan will ensure we replicate this success and take a gradual approach that will protect our health system capacity, prevent widespread closures, keep our schools open, and support the province’s economic recovery.”
Ontario reported 492 new COVID-19 cases on October 22, bringing the total seen since the start of the pandemic to 596,772.