Ontario announced their plan to lift all COVID-19-related public health measures over the course of six months on Friday.
The plan covers easing capacity limits and restrictions, lifting proof of vaccination requirements and even ending masking mandates.
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Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said that he will be monitoring the situation closely and local and regional measures will be used to curb the spread of COVID-19 when and where necessary. Provincial measures will be used only when absolutely necessary.
“Public health measures would be applied provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the provinces health care system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant is ever identified in the province,” Dr. Kieran Moore told reporters on Friday.
Here’s a complete timeline of Ontario’s plan lift every COVID-19 public health measure, if new cases and hospitalizations continue to remain stable.
October 25 – capacity limits
On Monday, capacity limits in most cases will be lifted with the exception of a few high-risk areas.
This means restaurants, gyms, casinos, indoor meeting spaces, personal care services and more can operate at full capacity.
There is also a plan to allow for increased capacity limits at large events like Rememberance Day and the Santa Claus parade!
November 15 – capacity limits
On November 15, the province will lift the remaining capacity limits in high-risk areas. This will allow for dance clubs, strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs to operate at full capacity.
Restaurants and bars with dance floors will also be able to operate at full capacity on this date, which includes wedding venues where wedding guests want to get loose.
January 17 – proof of vaccination, low-risk settings
If trends from the previous months look good and there hasn’t been a surge in COVID-19 cases in the province, there will be a gradual lifting of capacity limits in spaces where proof of vaccination is not required.
In addition, if the data from the previous months shows COVID-19 is not increasing, the province will begin to lift proof of vaccination requirements in certain areas. This includes restaurants and bars, casinos, sports and recreation facilities and other lower-risk settings.
February 7 – proof of vaccination, high-risk settings
In February, the province will begin lifting proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings. This includes strip clubs, night clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.
Similar to other restrictions lifting in early 2022, this depends on case numbers, hospitalizations and ICU admissions. If officials are not concerned about the state of COVID-19 in the province, this step will go one as scheduled.
March 28 – all public health measures lifted
By the end of March the province plans to lift all public health measures that were put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this stage, the goal is to lift all masking mandates and proof of vaccination requirements.
From this point, the province plans to keep COVID-19 in check in the province by using more targeted and local public health measures if they are necessary. This means that some public health units could reinstate physical distancing, masking and proof of vaccination mandates if an outbreak warrants it.
This stage also depends on how previous stages of reopening go. If cases are rising too quickly, or hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, the province said they will reinstate necessary public health measures to curb the spread.