Ottawa, ON — Ontario announces it is easing public health measures and restrictions sooner than planned, with part two of Ontario’s plan to reopen beginning on February 17 at 12:01 am.
“Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave, we are able to fast track our reopening plan,” said Doug Ford, premier of Ontario.
Starting on Feb. 17, the province will be removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required; this includes meeting and event spaces and convention centres.
If public health and health system indicators continue to improve, the next phase will be in effect as of March 1. Starting on that date, Ontario will lift capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings, as well as proof of vaccination requirements for all settings. However, businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.
In addition, as of 8:00 am on Feb. 18, Ontario will expand booster dose eligibility for youth aged 12 to 17. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose, and to book an appointment online, individuals must be 12 years old at the time of appointment.
“Thanks to the province’s high vaccination rates and the continued sacrifices of Ontarians, we are now in a position where we can move forward in our plan earlier than anticipated,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health.
Despite the easing of restrictions, mask-wearing requirements remain in place, but there is a potential timeline to lift this.