ONTARIO OUTLINES STEPS TO CAUTIOUSLY AND GRADUALLY EASE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health has released details of steps to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures, starting January 31, 2022.
As a result of additional public health measures that were enacted on January 5, 2022, Ontario is beginning to see signs of stabilization in key public health and health system indicators. Positive percent rates have fallen and new admissions to hospitals have started to stabilize with length of stay shortening considerably. These trends are expected to continue, allowing the province to begin cautiously easing public health measures.
Ontario will follow a cautious and phased approach to lifting public health measures, with 21 days between each step.
Effective January 31, 2022, Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:
- Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
- Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
- Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
- Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
- Shopping malls;
- Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
- Meeting and event spaces;
- Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; and
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
- Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
- Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.
Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.
The Ontario government will reassess this step, with the next step being put into effect on February 21, 2022. In the interim, The Department of Health encourages community members to continue following public health guidelines, such as wearing a mask when in public, social distancing of at least 6-feet, and frequently washing and sanitizing your hands.