Ontario Easing Some COVID-19 Restrictions Effective Feb. 17th

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Ontario Moving Into Next Phase of Reopening February 17th, 2022

The Government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously and gradually easing public health measures beginning on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. due to an improvement in public health trends.
The following measures will take effect on February 17, 2022:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • Increasing organized public event limits to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors
  • Removing capacity limits in the following indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to:
  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities
  • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms
  • Cinemas
  • Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor areas of settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
  • Allowing 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity at sports arenas
  • Allowing 50 percent of the usual seating capacity for concert venues and theatres
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, restaurants where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Increasing capacity limits for indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites, or ceremonies to the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance. Capacity limits are removed if the location opts-in to use proof of vaccination or if the service, rite, or ceremony is occurring outdoors.

Capacity limits in other indoor public settings, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, retail and shopping malls, will be maintained at, or increased to, the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance.
Assuming public health trends continue to improve, the Government intends to ease even more public health restrictions effective March 1, 2022. This includes:

  • Lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings
  • Lifting proof of vaccination requirements for all settings

Businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination. Masking requirements will remain in place, with a specific timeline to lift this measure to be communicated at a later date.
As a reminder, local medical officers of health also have the ability to issue Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to target specific transmission risks in the community. All operators are encouraged to reach out to their local health units to make sure they comply with all regulations and restrictions in their respective districts.

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