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Some Ontario businesses allowed to open at full capacity

Ontario Premier Doug Ford in front of a Canadian flag
Doug Ford
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the reopening plan will slowly lift restrictions.

On Monday, for the first time in more than a year, some businesses in Ontario will be able to open to a full capacity of customers. It’s part of Premier Doug Ford’s long-term COVID-19 economic reopening plan.

Indoor dining, sports and recreation facilities such as gyms and personal fitness centers, bars and other food and drinking establishments, casinos, indoor meeting and event spaces and certain outdoor settings can reopen without physical distancing required.

‘This is a cautious plan," Ford said. "It slowly lifts health measures over time allowing us to monitor any impacts on our hospitals and our communities. It will do everything possible to avoid broad lockdowns, while enabling a tailored and localized response should we need to act. And it provides a clear end date for when remaining health measures will be lifted."

Some other businesses, such as personal care services, indoor museums, galleries and similar attractions, open houses provided by real estate agencies and locations for weddings, funerals and religious services, will be allowed to lift capacity restrictions, but must check proof of vaccinations.

Other high-risk settings, such as night clubs and strip clubs, will have capacity limits lifted in coming months. Beginning at the end of March of next year, all remaining public health and workplace safety measures will lift, including wearing masks indoors. Masking might still be required on public transit.

Ontario’s health minister says if there is a spike in case numbers or hospitalization rates, the government will reintroduce measures where the transmission is taking place.