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Restaurants lose capacity limits, as province posts timeline for lifting of all COVID restrictions

Restaurants lose capacity limits, as province posts timeline for lifting of all COVID restrictions

Ontario restaurants can operate at full capacity starting Monday. If the current downward trend in COVID cases and hospitalizations continues, Ontario residents could see the lifting oft all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including proof of vaccination and wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings, over the next six months. In making the announcement Premier Ford and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore stressed that the relaxation will be monitored closely for any new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations and ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission.

The schedule for lifting restrictions is as follows:

Next Monday October 25, 2021

Ontario will lift capacity limits in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required, such as restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gyms and where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and indoor meeting and event spaces. Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

Other settings that will be allowed  to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, include

Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);

Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;

Indoor areas of amusement parks;

Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;

Indoor tour and guide services;

Boat tours;

Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;

Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;

Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and

Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

Proof of Vaccination will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies. In addition, the government intends to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades with more details coming in the near future.

November 15, 2021

The government intends to lift capacity limits in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing); strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.

January 17, 2022

The government will monitor case levels over the holidays  and after students returned to in-class learning. If the numbers stay low, the province intends to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will also lift CMOH directives as appropriate. Proof of vaccination requirements may also begin to be gradually lifted at this time, including for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, facilities used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.

February 7, 2022

The government intends to lift proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings, including night clubs, strip clubs, and bathhouses and sex clubs.

March 28, 2022

At this time, it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings. Recommendations may be released for specific settings, if appropriate. In addition, the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

Local Health units will be allowed to manage local outbreaks by reintroducing restrictions.

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