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Ontario fast tracking reopening on February 17th, restaurants and bars to reopen to full capacity

As of Thursday restaurants, bars, and gyms can reopen to full capacity. You’ll also be able to have 50 people inside for a social gathering and up to 100 people outside.

Capacity limits will also increase to 50-percent at arenas, theatres, and concert venues.

As of March 1st, proof of vaccination requirements and all other capacity limits will be lifted.

Masking will continue to be required but, the province says they will be announcing “at a later date” when they intend to lift that mandate.

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“Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave we are able to fast track our reopening plan,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This is great news and a sign of just how far we’ve come together in our fight against the virus. While we aren’t out of the woods just yet we are moving in the right direction.”

The government says with positivity rates of COVID-19 continuing to fall and new hospitalizations declining week over week it is clear the Omicron peak is “behind us” and is expected to continue which allows for the accelerated reopening.

Effective February 17, 2022, Ontario will further ease public health measures, including, but not limited to:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • Increasing organized public event limits to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors

Removing capacity limits in the following indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities
  • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms
  • Cinemas
  • Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor areas of settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
  • Allowing 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity at sports arenas
  • Allowing 50 percent of the usual seating capacity for concert venues and theatres
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, restaurants where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Increasing capacity limits for indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites, or ceremonies to the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance. Capacity limits are removed if the location opts-in to use proof of vaccination or if the service, rite, or ceremony is occurring outdoors
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