COVID-19 restrictions ease in Ontario: What you can and can't do in the province right now

·2 min read
A COVID-19 screening notice for customers is seen at the entrance of a store in a shopping mall in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, on Jan. 8, 2022. Canada reported 30,435 new COVID-19 cases Saturday morning, raising its national total to 2,512,577 with 30,742 deaths, according to local media CTV. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images) (Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images)

As of Monday, Jan. 31, Ontario has loosened a number of restrictions as premier Doug Ford and provincial officials state the province is seeing "signs of improvement" in the Omicron COVID-19 situation.

These eased restrictions include:

  • Increased social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors

  • Capacity limit is set as 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including:

    • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities

    • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)

    • Shopping malls

    • Gyms, non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities

    • Movie theatres

    • Meeting and event spaces

    • Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks

    • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions

    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments

    • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies

  • Spectator areas can open in facilities like sporting events, concert venues and theatres, which can operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less

On Feb. 21, the next step in eased restrictions in Ontario will include:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors

  • Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including restaurants, gyms, indoor sports and recreational facilities, cinemas, as well as other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements

  • Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50 per cent capacity

  • Limiting capacity in most remaining indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance

  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required

  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs

By March 14, Ontario intends to limit capacity limits on religious services, rites, or ceremonies. The province will also increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings. Proof of vaccination requirements will still be in place.