COVID-19

COVID-19 Restrictions Updates

In response to recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, our government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced yesterday that it is temporarily moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts.

These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout.

The province will return to a modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 for at least 21 days (January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.  

 

These measures include:

  • Reducing social gathering limits to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
  • Limiting capacity at organized public events to five people indoors.
  • Requiring businesses and organizations to ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site.
  • Limiting capacity at indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites and ceremonies to 50 per cent capacity of the particular room. Outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance. Social gatherings associated with these services must adhere to the social gathering limits.
  • Retail settings, including shopping malls, permitted at 50 per cent capacity. For shopping malls physical distancing will be required in line-ups, loitering will not be permitted and food courts will be required to close.
  • Personal care services permitted at 50 per cent capacity and other restrictions. Saunas, steam rooms, and oxygen bars closed.
  • Closing indoor meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions but permitting outdoor spaces to remain open with restrictions.
  • Public libraries limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments. Outdoor dining with restrictions, takeout, drive through and delivery is permitted.
  • Restricting the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol on-premise in businesses or settings after 11 p.m. with delivery and takeout, grocery/convenience stores and other liquor stores exempted.
  • Closing indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, rehearsals and recorded performances permitted with restrictions.
  • Closing museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks and waterparks, tour and guide services and fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals. Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy, where applicable, limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities including gyms, except for athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues. Outdoor facilities are permitted to operate but with the number of spectators not to exceed 50 per cent occupancy and other requirements.

A full list of measures can be found in the news release.

 

Vaccine Certificate QR Code Now Required to Access Certain Businesses and Organizations

As of today, January 4, 2022, Ontarians will now be required to use their enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code to access certain businesses and organizations where proof of vaccination is already required. Vaccine receipts without a QR code will no longer be accepted as valid proof of vaccination.  

Businesses will be required to use the Verify Ontario app to scan the codes and confirm a person’s vaccination status.  

You do not need to download an app or have a smartphone to use your QR code. You can download the QR code certificate from the provincial portal here or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have your enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to you. 

You can save the electronic version of your enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code to your phone or print a paper copy. Businesses must accept both electronic and paper versions. 

You will need to continue to show a piece of identification with your name and date of birth along with your proof of vaccination when visiting select businesses and organizations. 

For anyone without access to a computer, you can: 

  • Visit your local library to use a public computer and internet resources; 
  • Ask a trusted friend or organization to help print a copy; or 
  • Access a Service Ontario location 

Those with medical exemptions also need verified certificates with a QR code as doctor’s notes will no longer be accepted as of January 10. 

For more information, please visit here.  

 

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