COVID-19 Update for October 22, 2021 – Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term
Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term
The Government of Ontario in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health has released ‘A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long Term’, which outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace restrictions by March 2022.
Over the next six months the Government of Ontario will, slowly and incrementally, lift remaining public health and workplace safety measures including the provincial requirements for proof of vaccination and wearing face coverings in indoor public settings. This phased approach will be guided by ongoing assessments and monitoring of public health and health system indicators, such as the identification of new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations and ICU capacity.
Effective 12:01 a.m. October 25, Ontario will lift all capacity restrictions for the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination is required including:
- Restaurants and bars
- Gyms and other indoor recreational facilities
- Casinos and other indoor gaming establishments
- Indoor meeting and event spaces
At the same time the government will also allow other settings to lift capacity and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccinations including:
- Personal care services (barber shops, salons, body art)
- Indoor areas of museums, aquariums, zoos, and similar attractions
- Indoor areas of amusement parks
- Open house events for real estate agencies
- Other relevant establishments (boat tours, indoor clubhouses, photography studios etc.)
After the initial October 25th re-opening the government has detailed planned dates for further lifting of restrictions on other businesses, based on the absence of concerning trends in public health, hospital capacity and healthcare.
In order to manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units will be deployed based on local context and conditions. Health measures which may be reintroduced include capacity limits and physical distancing requirements.