Ontario is back at it again with new rules and restrictions. The province has announced even stricter capacity limits at large indoor venues and has updated isolation requirements for those who test positive for COVID.
As of December 31st, arenas, stadiums, theatres, and concert halls will have capacity reduced to 1,000 people. However, if the venue accommodates less than 1,000 people, they can operate at 50% capacity.
This is the first public health measure that Ontario has announced post-Christmas. On December 19th, the province slashed capacity in half at all indoor establishments and reduced gathering sizes to 10 people indoors.
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The province is also increasing the availability of free COVID tests for certain residents. Starting on Friday, high-risk individuals and those who work in high-risk settings will have access to publically-funded PCR testing — you can click here to see who is eligible.
Plus, based on the high vaccination rate and rollout of booster doses in the province, vaccinated people who test positive or come in close contact with someone who has will only have to isolate for five days after the onset of symptoms, or after the date of their last contact. Unvaccinated individuals and their close contacts must continue to isolate for 10 days.
If their symptoms improve for at least 24 hours after the five-day period, Ontarians can leave isolation and continue to social distance and wear a mask. This only applies to people who do not live or work in a high-risk setting.
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Ontario is also stepping up its requirements for vaccine passport-holders. As of January 4th, only your vaccine QR code will be valid as proof of entry into many businesses that require it.
Instead of presenting the physical or emailed copy of your original certificate, you’ll need to provide your QR code and a government-issued ID at the door so businesses can check your vaccination status and verify your name.
Finally, officials revealed that fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be available to long-term care residents three months after their third dose, and students will be allowed to return to in-person learning on time this January 5th.
Yep, we’re with you — this is a lot to take in. Never a dull moment in Ontario!
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