Ontario Announces the Easing of Public Health Measures
On February 14, 2022, the Government of Ontario announced its intention to gradually lift public health measures in the coming weeks as Ontario accelerates its reopening plan.
Effective February 17, 2022, Ontario will ease the following public measures:
- Social gathering capacity limits will be increased to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
- Organized public event capacity limits will be increased to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors
- Capacity limits will be removed 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
- 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 percent of the usual seating capacity at sports arenas
- Allowing 50 percent of the usual seating capacity for concert venues and theatres
- Indoor capacity limits will be increased to 25 percent 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
- Capacity limits will be increased for indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites, or ceremonies to the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance, but capacity limits will be removed if the location opts-in to use proof of vaccination or if the service, rite, or ceremony is occurring outdoors.
The 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.
Effective March 1, 2022, Ontario intends to lift capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings and lift the proof of vaccination requirements for access to all settings, if public health and health system indicators continue to improve. Businesses and other settings may elect to continue to require proof of vaccination. A list of current Ontario businesses and settings that currently require proof of vaccination for access are listed here.
The Government of Ontario has not released details regarding the easing of masking protocols. Masking protocols will remain in place and a specific timeline for easing those protocols is expected at a later date.
More information on the easing of public health measures can be found here.
We will continue to monitor developments related to Ontario’s reopening plan and will post further updates as information becomes available.
If you have questions about your rights and obligations as an employer in managing your operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, please get in touch with one of our lawyers.