On October 22, 2021 the government released ‘A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term,’ which outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022.
At that time, we announced our intention to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades.
On October 27, the government approved regulatory amendments, supported by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, that, effective immediately, lift capacity limits for outdoor organized public events such as parades, memorial services and other similar events. If physical distancing of two metres is not possible a mask must be worn. Restrictions on outdoor social gatherings will continue to be limited to 100 people.
As the risk of COVID-19 transmission is significantly lower outdoors, the regulatory amendments also remove outdoor capacity limits in most other sectors where they remain. This includes but isn’t limited to outdoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals, and outdoor areas of museums, aquariums, zoos, and science centres, among others. Ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities are also able to operate outdoor without capacity limits.
Outdoor capacity limits for food or drink establishments with dance facilities, such as nightclubs, will remain in place. In addition, as previously announced, proof of vaccination continues to be required in certain outdoor settings where the capacity is 20,000 people or more, to help keep these venues safe for patrons.
In addition, a number of clarifying and housekeeping amendments were approved to align with and support A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term. These include:
- Removing the expired provision that permitted a negative COVID-19 antigen test to be used in place of proof of vaccination for wedding and funeral receptions in meeting or event spaces.
- Permitting indoor recreational amenities to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements to align with the approach for similar businesses and organizations.
- Clarifying requirements for signage at wedding, funeral and religious services, rites or ceremonies that opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
- Specifying reservations are not required to attend unseated concerts, events, performances, and movies in addition to seated.
- Removing the requirement that motor vehicles maintain at least 2 meters distance at drive-in / drive-through venues.