It looks like officials are getting ready to hit the gas on Ontario’s reopening plan once again and are planning to lift some of the public health measures that still remain in place.
Provincial government sources told CTV News that Ontario’s COVID-19 situation is “stable or improving,” and cabinet ministers could have a plan ready to announce as early as tomorrow.
Ontario has been in Step 3 since July, with outdoor gathering limits capped at 100 people outdoors and 25 people indoors. Concert venues, sporting events, and organized public events still have capacity restrictions in place. The province paused its reopening plan back in August, amid the Delta variant.
A senior official in Ford’s government told CBC News that the plan is to scrap capacity limits at indoor venues where proof of vaccination is already required for entry, such as gyms, restaurants, and bars. However, masks will remain mandatory indoors.
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However, while it’s clear that Ontario is making progress in keeping case counts down and vaccination rates high, officials are aware that the progress is fragile and restrictions will be loosened cautiously.
The official told CBC that they won’t “pretend the pandemic is over,” but that it’s about time Ontario provides a clear explanation of its exit out of the reopening roadmap.
This comes as Ontario prepares to roll out its vaccine passport app on October 22nd. The app will provide Ontarians with a unique QR code that will be scanned as a form of entry to places like bars, gyms, theatres, and concert venues.
However, the QR code isn’t mandatory. You’ll still be able to use the print or digital version of your vaccine certificate even after October 22nd, according to the province.
Ontario has also announced its guidelines for Halloween this year, which includes a list of rules for safe trick-or-treating and costume parties. It looks like we’ll find out really soon if Ontario’s loosened restrictions will allow you to host more guests at your Halloween get-together.