- At 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Ontario will begin the first step of its three-step reopening plan, removing several restrictions imposed earlier this month.
- COVID-19 claimed the lives of 58 more people in Ontario on Sunday, bringing the total number of people hospitalised to just over 3,100.
Ontario will begin the first step of its three-step reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, removing several restrictions imposed earlier this month in an attempt to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.
Social gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors on January 31.
Indoor dining establishments, gyms, retailers, shopping malls, and movie theatres can reopen at 50% capacity. Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming venues may reopen as well.
Also read: COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 58 more people in Ontario
Spectators will also be permitted at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres with a seating capacity of 50% or 500 people, whichever is lower.
Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference on January 20 that the province’s approach to easing restrictions, which went into effect on January 5, will be “prudent and gradual.”
“We want to avoid going back as much as humanly possible,” Ford said.
“We won’t hesitate to take a few extra days between steps if that means pausing for a few extra days.”
On Monday, the following restrictions will be lifted in Ontario:
- The number of people who can attend social gatherings will be increased to 10 inside and 25 outside.
- Sporting events, concert venues, and theatres will seat 50% of their audience or 500 people, whichever is lower.
- Restaurants, bars, and also other food and beverage establishments without dance floors will accommodate 50% of their customers indoors.
- Indoors, retailers such as grocery stores and also pharmacies, as well as shopping malls can operate at 50% capacity.
- Indoors, non-spectator areas of sports, and recreational fitness facilities, such as gyms, can run at 50% capacity.
- Indoors, movie theatres, meeting rooms, and event spaces can operate at 50% capacity.
- Indoor amusement parks and recreational facilities, such as water parks, can operate at 50% capacity.
- Indoor attractions such as museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, similar attractions, casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments can open to 50% capacity.
- Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies with a capacity of 50% can be held.
- The province said that enhanced proof of vaccination and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.
According to the government, individuals able to attend indoor occurrences at a sporting or concert venue, a movie cinema, or other gaming establishments would be allowed to eat and drink as long as they remain seated.
The province has also lifted the legal necessity to work from home unless necessary. However, Dr. Kieren Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, advises those who can do so.
Moore reaffirmed this point at a press conference earlier this month, saying that individual case management is no longer beneficial due to Omicron’s widespread community.
Moore explained, “You have to take personal responsibility based on symptoms, knowing when to access health-care systems, and (rapid antigen tests).”
“As a society, we must learn to live with this virus, to live with the risk.”
COVID-19 claimed the lives of 58 more people in Ontario on Sunday, while hospitalizations dropped to just over 3,100 people.
On February 21, the province will begin Step 2 of its reopening plan. Legal indoor and outdoor gathering limits will be increased, and indoor capacity restrictions requiring proof of vaccination will be eliminated.
Source: CTV News
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