Today’s the day! Provincial officials announced on Friday that more of Ontario’s restrictions are lifting as of Monday, October 25th. Almost all indoor businesses and venues will be allowed to open at full capacity starting today, as long as they adhere to proof of vaccination policies.

Gyms, arenas, restaurants, bars with no dancing, casinos, meeting and event spaces, and more are now allowed to accommodate the maximum number of people indoors and are no longer required to observe social distancing. However, officials said that mask mandates will remain in place until March 2022.

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In addition to these places, the following list of businesses and events can also operate at max capacity starting today, as long as they agree to check proof of vaccination:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
  • Wedding, funeral, and religious ceremonies
  • 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;
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

On November 15th, the province will lift capacity limits at the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, like nightclubs, strip clubs, and wedding receptions. Essential businesses like grocery stores and medical care establishments won’t have to implement a policy.

This is probably welcome news for many of these businesses, who were closed for almost a full year during lockdown.

Ontario has made QR codes available to all residents who are fully vaccinated, which they can now use instead of the print or digital copy of their certificate.

Ontario’s QR code system is already set up for Canada’s new vaccination system for travel, which requires all passengers to have both shots of a Health Canada-approved vaccine to travel within or outside of the country by plane, train, or cruise ship. So, if you have any trips booked, the only form of proof you will need to show is your Ontario-issued QR code.