TORONTO — Ontario will begin easing COVID-19 restrictions at the end of the month, starting with increasing social gathering limits and allowing certain businesses to reopen with caps on capacity.

On Jan. 31, restaurant dining rooms, gyms, cinemas, museums and zoos – which have been closed since early this month – can re-open at 50 per cent capacity, and spectator areas of sporting events, concert venues and theatres can operate at half capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

As well, allowable social gathering sizes will be increased to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors – up from the limit of five people indoors and 10 people outdoors that was imposed as of Jan. 5.

Premier Doug Ford says he’s announcing a phased reopening plan because public health indicators are starting to show signs of improvement, and there will be 21 days between each reopening step, if health trends don’t become concerning.

On Feb. 21, gathering limits will be increased further to 25 people indoors and 100 outdoors, capacity limits will be lifted in establishments requiring proof of vaccination, including restaurants, gyms and cinemas, while sporting events, concert venues and theatres can open with a full 50 per cent capacity.

On March 14, capacity limits will be lifted in all indoor public settings and indoor social gathering limits will be increased to 50 people, while there will be no limit on the size of outdoor social gatherings.

More coming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press



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