TORONTO — With public health and health care indicators remaining stable or improving, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000. This gradual and incremental approach will continue to help protect people and ensure the province continues to cautiously lift public health measures safely.
“As we continue to see more Ontarians roll up their sleeves with over 22 million doses administered, our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know proof of vaccination requirements are providing an added layer of protection to Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The fight against COVID-19 is not over and we must all remain vigilant by continuing to follow the public health measures we know work and keep us safe, and receiving your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already done so.”
In keeping with the government’s cautious approach, effective Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
- Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
- Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
- Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
- Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.
To date there has been a limited number of outbreaks in these settings. Other public health and workplace safety measures continue to remain in effect for these settings. This can include wearing face coverings, screening and the collecting of patron information to support contact tracing. In settings where capacity limits have been lifted, the requirement for individuals to maintain two metres of physical distancing are being removed, with limited exceptions. In addition, proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons.
Since the proof of vaccination requirement went into effect, the province has reached two key milestones in its COVID-19 response, with more than 86.8 per cent of individuals aged 12 and over vaccinated with at least a first dose and more than 81.9 per cent with two doses. The majority of new cases continue to be among the unvaccinated.
“I am thankful for the continued efforts of Ontarians getting vaccinated and following public health measures and advice as we have continued to cautiously and gradually reopen the province. Our public health and health care indicators are continuing to trend in the right direction, and we are able to lift additional restrictions,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “However, now is not the time to let our guard down. We must all continue doing our part and continue strictly following the measures that remain in place and get as many people as we can fully vaccinated, especially as we enter the holiday season.”
Capacity limits will continue to remain in effect in all other remaining settings at this time. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the government will continue to review data and trends in key public health and health care indicators to determine the necessary and appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.