Plan released to lift all COVID-19 measures next March

October 29, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Ontario government released a new plan last Friday (Oct. 22), to reopen the province long term.

In a press release, the province said over the next six months they plan to lift “all remaining public health and workplace safety measure” including the requirement for proof of vaccination and wearing face coverings indoors.

“This plan is built for the long term. It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdown and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made,” said Premier Doug Ford.

The first step of the plan took place this past weekend on Oct. 25, when capacity limits were lifted for a number of business sectors including restaurants and bars, gyms, salons, museums, and open houses from real estate agencies.

The next move in the reopening plan is scheduled for Nov. 15, when capacity limits on remaining higher-risk settings (where proof of vaccination is required) are lifted. The move will include food and drink establishments with dance facilities such as night clubs, and wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces.

Come New Year, following the winter holidays and students return to in-class learning, the province says they intend to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where poof of vaccination is not required. Proof of vaccinations requirements may also begin easing for restaurants, bars, sports and recreational facilities, and bingo halls. This step is scheduled for Jan. 17.

The final two dates in the province’s new reopening plan include Feb. 7, when proof of vaccination requirements for higher-risk setting (night clubs) will be lifted, and March 28, which is the final step in the plan. The final move intends to see all remaining restrictions and safety measures, including face coverings, to be lifted.

The new plan to open the province long term will be on local context and conditions, with health measure such as reintroducing capacity limits, physical distancing, and reimplementing proof of vaccination, able to be applied by public health units.

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