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.


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 our 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, we plan to slowly and incrementally lift any remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including:

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

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

As of October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits, including physical distancing requirements are 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 are also lifted in certain outdoor settings.

Other settings can choose require attendees to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against covid 19. If you choose to have attendees provide proof of vaccination, capacity limits and physical distancing requirements will not apply. This can apply to:

  • 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
  • indoor recreational amenities
  • open house events provided by real estate agencies
  • indoor areas of photography studios and services

Locations, other than private dwellings, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

Proof of vaccination requirements do not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies.

As of October 27, 2021, capacity limits are also removed for:

  • outdoor organized public events such as outdoor parades, outdoor memorial services and other similar events; a face covering is required if physical distancing of 2 metres is not possible, with limited exceptions
  • most other outdoor settings

Note: Restrictions on outdoor social gatherings continue to be limited to 100 people.

Paused: November 15, 2021

We are pausing the lifting of capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings out of an abundance of caution as the province monitors public health trends.

These higher-risk settings include:

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

January 17, 2022

In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care indicators following the winter holiday months and after students return 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, it is intended that 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 may 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.