A plan to safely reopen Ontario and manage COVID-19 for the long-term

Learn how Ontario plans to cautiously and gradually lift remaining public health and workplace safety measures.

Overview

The Ontario government, 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.

This plan outlines Ontario’s cautious and gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022. It will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to covid 19.

Over the next six months, Ontario will slowly and incrementally lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including:

  • wearing face coverings in indoor public settings
  • removing the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination

To ensure that public health and workplace safety measures are lifted safely, this phased approach will be guided by the ongoing assessment and monitoring of key public health and health care indicators, such as:

  • the identification of any new covid 19 variants
  • increases in hospitalizations
  • ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission

In the absence of concerning trends, public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted based on the proposed following milestones (PDF).

Read the regulation.

October 25, 2021

Beginning October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination is 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
  • indoor meeting and event spaces

Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

The government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

  • personal care services (such as 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
  • 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.

This will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies.

Ontario also 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

On November 15, 2021, the government intends to lift capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including:

  • food or drink establishments with dance facilities (such as night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing)
  • strip clubs
  • bathhouses and sex clubs

January 17, 2022

In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care indicators following the winter holiday months and after students returned to in-class learning, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • commercial and film productions with studio audiences

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. Public health measures that may be applied locally could include:

  • reintroducing capacity limits and/or physical distancing
  • reducing gathering limits
  • adding settings where proof of vaccination is required

Public health measures would be implemented provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the province’s health system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or if a vaccine resistant covid 19 variant is identified in the province.