The province has lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings including cinemas, sports and concert venues where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000.
“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 Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott. “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.”
Limits have been lifted to allow 100% capacity in the following settings:
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (not gyms and 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)
- Horse racing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues
- Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences
The province said 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 is 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, according to provincial data.
“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.
As of September 22, Ontarians are required to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) with proof of vaccination along with ID to access certain public settings and facilities.
Effective October 13, proof of vaccination or an eligible exemption will also be required to attend a social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony in a meeting or event space. Proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test within the previous 48 hours will no longer be permitted as an alternative to proof of vaccination.
Local medical officers of health still have the ability to issue Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and municipalities may enact by-laws, to target specific transmission risks in the community.