Ontario to announce plan for exiting Step 3 next week, lifting more capacity limits

Sources tell Global News the Ontario government will announce plans to exit Step 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan late next week.

A source, not authorized to speak publicly, said the first phase of the plan will determine when capacity limits can be lifted for the remaining venues, such as restaurants, that are already under a proof-of-vaccination policy.

A revised plan is expected late next week that will be a pathway to exiting the Roadmap to Reopen in Ontario, the source said.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, is expected to give a weekly COVID-19 update Thursday afternoon. Last Thursday, Moore announced plans for Thanksgiving and Halloween but made no mention of capacity limits.

Read more:
COVID-19 — Ontario lifts capacity limits for theatres, venues; restaurants, gyms among those left out

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Just ahead of the Thanksgiving long weekend, on Friday, the government lifted capacity limits for cinemas, theatres, spectator sports venues, concert venues, meeting and event spaces, horse racing and car racing tracks. These venues were allowed to operate at 100 per cent capacity as of Saturday.

For those venues, the government said it made the changes based on high vaccination levels, stable public health indicators and the vaccine certificate requirements that took effect last month.

The province came up with a three-step plan in the spring/summer for reopening. Ontario has been in Step 3 since July 16.

Read more:
‘Just doesn’t make sense’ — Guelph restaurateur wants capacity restrictions loosened

According to the provincial website on “moving beyond the roadmap,” the majority of public health measures from Step 3 will be lifted. This includes removing capacity limits, removing limits for social gatherings and organized public events, and removing requirements such as active screening of patrons and workers.

However, it also states a small number of measures will remain in place, for example, masking, passive screening such as signage, collecting patron contact information and a safety plan.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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