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Here’s what’s open at 50% capacity in Ontario on Jan. 31 as restrictions ease

Click to play video: 'Province’s top doctor says Ontario has to ‘learn to live with’ Omicron' Province’s top doctor says Ontario has to ‘learn to live with’ Omicron
WATCH ABOVE: Province’s top doctor says Ontario has to ‘learn to live with’ Omicron. Matthew Bingley reports. – Jan 27, 2022

The Ontario government is scaling back COVID-19 restrictions on many businesses in the first phase of a 21-day interval reopening plan that takes effect Monday.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 31, these settings will have a capacity limit of 50 per cent, some of which were previously closed:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities.
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies).
  • Shopping malls.
  • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms.
  • Cinemas.
  • 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.

In addition, social gathering limits will increase to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Read more: Ontario to begin lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Jan. 31

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Events with spectators, such as sporting events, concerts or theatres will be capped at either 500 people or 50 per cent seated capacity, whichever is less, officials said.

Proof of vaccination — the version with the scannable QR code — and other requirements such as masking will continue to apply, the government said.

Further tweaks were made last week in preparation for reopening since the plan was released on Jan. 20. The government said cinemas/movie theatres can sell food and drinks at concession stands.

They also said restaurants will no longer need to do contact tracing for customers.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario’s top doctor defends decision to drop contact tracing for businesses' COVID-19: Ontario’s top doctor defends decision to drop contact tracing for businesses
COVID-19: Ontario’s top doctor defends decision to drop contact tracing for businesses – Jan 27, 2022

Earlier this month on Jan. 5, the province implemented additional restrictions on businesses amid a spike in Omicron cases. They included additional capacity limits, a ban on indoor dining and the closure of several types of facilities including gyms, cinemas and museums. For retailers, malls, and religious services there is no change from the already existing 50 per cent capacity put in place in early January.

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Read more: Here’s a look at Ontario’s planned timeline to lift COVID-19 restrictions

Monday, Feb. 21 — next phase of reopening

Then, in three weeks, on Monday, Feb. 21, the province said it plans to ease more public health measures, including:

  • Social gathering limits increase to 25 people indoors, 100 people outdoors.
  • Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required.
  • 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 will be 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.

Proof of vaccination — the version with the scannable QR code — and other requirements such as masking will continue to apply, the government said.

Read more: Doug Ford says he can’t see Ontario mask mandates lifting anytime soon

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Monday, March 14 — next phase of reopening

In another three-week interval on Monday, March 14, Ontario said it plans to lift capacity limits in all indoor public settings.

However, proof of vaccination will remain in place.

Social gathering limits will also increase to 50 people indoors and there will not be any limits for outdoor gatherings.

It will also lift remaining capacity limits on religious services, rites or ceremonies.

The province said three weeks in between each phase will allow it to monitor public health trends.

Click to play video: 'Ontario lays out its latest pathway to eased restrictions' Ontario lays out its latest pathway to eased restrictions
Ontario lays out its latest pathway to eased restrictions – Jan 20, 2022

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