The Ontario government announced that on Monday, Oct. 25, capacity limits and distancing rules will be lifted in the majority of settings where proof of vaccination is required.
These settings include:
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
Indoor meeting and event spaces
Additional businesses and services can lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements, if they choose to require proof of vaccination by patrons, these 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
Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs
Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities
Open house events provided by real estate agencies
Indoor areas of photography studios and services
Additionally, the provincial government plans to lift capacity limits in others settings where proof of vaccination is required, including night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing, strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs, in November.
What COVID-19 restrictions will be in place in Ontario in 2022?
On Jan. 17, 2022, "in the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care following the winter holiday months and after students returned to in-class learning," the provincial government intends to lift the proof of vaccination requirement for restaurants, bars, settings used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.
This would extend to additional businesses in February next year.
As we get into the colder months this virus does want to spread, as the humidity inside goes down the virus wants to spread. It’s a call for more people to be immunized.Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health
"The good date that we’ve set, which I think is absolutely appropriate, is January 17th to review the data. That will give us an opportunity to review the preceding two months of potential activity within Ontario."
In March, the Ontario government plans to remove the masking requirement in indoor public spaces and proof of vaccination could 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.
"By March we hope we've maximized our immunization strategy in Ontario…to the point that this virus doesn't have a host in which it can reproduce," Dr. Moore said. "Then we will have to learn to live with this virus."
"Sadly some will acquire immunity naturally but our goal is to continue to maximize our immunization strategy during this time."
Canadian medical experts question timeline
People in Ontario, including health experts, took to social media to comment on the provincial government's announcement.
Today...the Ontario government announced they will be ending proof of vaccination requirements on January 17th.
And...they also encouraged people to “get vaccinated”.
But...why would people feel encouraged to “get vaccinated” if they can just hold off until January 17th?
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) October 22, 2021
So let me get this straight: Ontario is planning to lift proof of vaccination requirements on January 17th, which means that anti-vaxxers can simply wait it out until January 17th and remain unvaccinated?
— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) October 22, 2021
Ontario releases plans to gradually lift #COVID19 measures.
Eventually we won't have masks, vaccine passports etc.
Still, predicting 2-6 months in the future is challenging at best & if things worsen I hope action is taken long before hospitalizations⬆️. https://t.co/zEAeqax1mb pic.twitter.com/ZDYPqtmBU9
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) October 22, 2021
⭐️BREAKING ⭐️ In a complete shock to absolutely no one, @fordnation releases a “return to normal” plan for Ontario WITHOUT any clear metrics.
100% based on dates.
Oct 25: Increased Capacity
Nov 15: Increased High-Risk Capacity
Jan 17: No Vaccine Passports
Mar 28: Masks Removed
— Ryan Imgrund (@imgrund) October 22, 2021
To be fair, I think end of March is likely a realistic end to pandemic measures. All kids >6m will be approved for vaccines and the whole booster issue will be sorted by then. Provided of course there’s no new horrible vaccine-evasive variant!
— Kashif Pirzada, MD (@KashPrime) October 22, 2021